By Felipe Villamor, The New York Times
Two Filipinos convicted in the 2012 killing of a United States Marine have been captured in Manila after years of avoiding prison time, the Philippine government said on Monday.
The two, Galicano Datu and Crispin dela Paz, were seized separately last week by agents of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation, the agency said.
Its director, Dante Gierran, said the men had been convicted of killing Maj. George Anikow, 41, who was married to an American Embassy employee in Manila.
He died after the men brawled in November 2012 in a plush area of the city’s Makati financial district.
(Four Filipinos stand trial for the murder of a US Marine in Makati. Their lawyer wants a gag order on the media. Courtesy of Rappler and YouTube. Posted on Jan 10, 2013)
Mr. dela Paz was caught last week after a car chase through Manila, Mr. Gierran said.
Mr. Datu was found in hiding in a condominium owned by his girlfriend, he added.
“The subjects were deliberately hiding to evade arrest,” Mr. Gierran said.
The United States Embassy said on Monday in a statement that the new arrests had brought “some measure of justice to this senseless crime.”
The killing was among the high-profile cases that helped propel President Rodrigo Duterte to power on a campaign promise of making the Philippines safer.
Thousands of Filipinos have since been killed by the police in Mr. Duterte’s drug crackdown.
Mr. Datu and Mr. dela Paz, both from influential families, were convicted of homicide while free on bail, after the charges were downgraded from murder.
Even so, they were not sent to prison but were required only to report periodically to penal officers.
(This video honors Major George Anikow, USMC. It contains pictures of Major Anikow during his preparation and deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009 with Detachment L (Detachment 4-1) of 4th Civil Affairs Group. This tribute was created by CWO2 Butch Wright. Courtesy of 4thCAG and YouTube. Posted on Mar 17, 2013.)
Philip Goldberg, then the American ambassador, expressed disappointment at the time that no one had served a day in prison for the crime.
But this spring, the judge who had downgraded the charges was dismissed by the Philippine Supreme Court for gross ignorance of the law, and new arrest warrants were issued for Mr. Datu and Mr. dela Paz.
I congratulate the NBI for their arrest of two of the perpetrators in the violent death of George Anikow, bringing some measure of justice to this senseless crime.
— Ambassador Sung Kim (@USAmbManila) June 18, 2018
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of Maj. Anikow. As the mother of U.S. Marine, I offer my heartfelt gratitude to Maj. Anikow and his family for serving our nation with pride and distinction. He will not be forgotten. Rest easy Marine.