By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent
Two Filipino women employed as household service workers in Cyprus, earlier reported as missing, have been found dead in a gruesome serial killing case, according to the ACTS-OFW party-list group.
ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III said the bodies of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 38, and Arian Palanas Lozano, 28, were both found in an abandoned mine some 20 miles from Nicosia, the capital of the island-country of Cyprus.
“Their bodies were found naked, bound and wrapped in sheets. They were dumped in a flooded mine shaft,” Bertiz said.
“The police in Nicosia already have a suspect in custody, a 35-year-old man who is a captain with the Cyprus National Guard,” he added.
The suspect, a professional military man, has already admitted that he killed the two Filipino women and at least five other foreign women and girls.
The Nicosia police, Bertiz said, believes that those five other victims include a third Filipino woman, 30-year-old Maricar Valdez Arquiola, who has been missing since December 2017.
“A group of German tourists in Mitseros, Nicosa first accidentally stumbled upon Tiburcio’s body on April 14, and found Lozano’s remains a few days later,” Bertiz said.
Tiburcio, of Barangay Bulac in the Municipality of Talavera, Nueva Ecija, and her six-year-old daughter with a former Romanian boyfriend, were first reported missing in May 2018.
The Cypriot police are still looking for Tiburcio’s child, Sierra Graze Seucalliuc, who may have been among the victims, Bertiz said.
“In Lozano’s case, the suspect admitted to the Nicosia police that he choked the victim to death while having sex with her. The suspect also said during interrogation that he had a thing for Filipino women – that in his own sick way he was captivated by Filipino women,” Bertiz said. Lozano was first reported missing in July 2018.
“The suspect apparently lured his victims through a popular online dating site. He also told the victims that he knew of better job prospects for them,” Bertiz said.
When the police examined the footprint of the suspect’s Badoo account, they found out that he chatted on-line with the victims and at least 30 other women, Bertiz said.
“We want swift justice in this case. It is bad enough that the Nicosia police ignored initial reports from the Filipino community in Cyrpus about the disappearance of Tiburcio and her daughter. The police there just said that the victims probably went somewhere else, and did not bother to investigate further,” Bertiz said.
The case of Tiburcio and her daughter was “highly suspicious from the start” because they went missing while all their belongings, including their travel papers, were found intact, Bertiz pointed out.
Bertiz, meanwhile, called on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to ensure the proper repatriation of the remains of the victims.
“We also want both the DFA and the DoLE to investigate the reported increase in the number of undocumented Filipino workers in Cyprus, which has made it difficult for us to monitor them for purposes of ensuring their safety and protection,” Bertiz said.
Filipino household service workers in Cyprus earn around 400 Euros, or PHP 23,000 monthly, Bertiz said.
The Nicosia police said the confessed serial killer’s other victims include a 36-year-old Romanian mother and her 8-year-old daughter, and a woman of Nepalese or Indian descent whose body was retrieved from a military firing range.