World News

Filipinos Convicted of Killing U.S. Marine in 2012 Are Captured

Posted June 18, 2018 11:00 a.m. EDT

MANILA, Philippines — Two Filipinos convicted in the 2012 killing of a U.S. Marine have been captured in Manila after years of avoiding prison time, the Philippine government said 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 a U.S. Embassy employee in Manila. He died after the men brawled in November 2012 in a plush area of the city’s Makati financial district.

Dela Paz was caught last week after a car chase through Manila, Gierran said. Datu was found in hiding in a condominium owned by his girlfriend, he added.

“The subjects were deliberately hiding to evade arrest,” Gierran said.

The U.S. Embassy said 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 police in Duterte’s drug crackdown.

Datu and 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.

Philip Goldberg, then the U.S. 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 Datu and dela Paz.