By MARS W. MOSQUEDA JR.
CEBU CITY — Police operatives here arrested two young suspects allegedly responsible for the robbery and slay of a female graduating nursing student last week.
Police reportedly used the on-line social networking site Friendster.com in tracking down the suspects.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Patrocinio Comendador said the two suspects, identified as Mark Anthony Gabriel, 18, and Ivan Barabat, 20, admitted responsibility for the robbery and slay of Cebu Doctors University nursing student Ruby Jade Ruba last week.
Two other witnesses also identified the two after they were arrested last Sunday.
Comendador said the Task Force Ruby Jade received several information and tips from the public and other police operatives about the suspects but they were only able to get a close look at the faces of the two suspects when they checked Friendster.com and found the suspects’ profiles.
Friendster.com is a social networking website where a user can upload his pictures for other users connected to his profile to view. Comendador said they searched for the name of Barabat and found his pictures.
The police immediately printed the pictures of the suspects and launched the series of operations last Sunday, resulting to the arrest of Barabat, the alleged gunman, and his cohort, Gabriel.
The two are local leaders of the notorious Crips Gang and have been involved in robberies in the past, said Comendador.
The two admitted to the crime with Barabat saying he was forced to shoot the fleeing female nursing student because she was shouting for help.
"Trip lang to amoa (It was just our tripping)," said Barabat when asked why he robbed and shot Ruba.
Barabat already had Ruba’s mobile phone but the woman started shouting, forcing him to pull the trigger. Ruba died on the spot. The suspect said he sold Ruba’s phone for R3,000.
Comendador said the case is initially solved although he stressed that they will officially announce the case as solved upon the filing of robbery with homicide charges in court against the two suspects.
When she was killed, Ruba was with a classmate and were walking along Governor Roa Street, barangay Capitol Site.
They were supposed to go to a classmate’s house to borrow a laptop adapter to be able to work on her requirement for graduation scheduled on March 30.