Thugs didn’t recognize Pilapil; assault was a ‘random act’

Posted on April 17, 2011

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THE two  car thieves who stabbed Pilar Pilapil and left her for dead on a grassy lot in Antipolo City were apparently not familiar with the local showbiz scene.
She pleaded with them not to harm her and her companion, who is still missing, and identified herself.
This  led  police to believe the assault  was a “spontaneous, random criminal act.”
The knife-wielding men did not believe Pilapil when she introduced herself as the beauty queen-turned-actress.
Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao, CIDG chief, said this was information that Pilapil gave a police team tasked to look into the incident.
Pagdilao said Pilapil was lucid when members of the Special Investigation Task Group Pilar visited her Saturday at a private medical facility in Pasig City.
“Fortunately, Ms Pilar Pilapil was able to regain consciousness and is now out of danger,” Pagdilao told the Inquirer.
“She gave us good leads that would certainly help us solve this crime.”
Pagdilao accompanied Vice President Jejomar Binay, who checked on Pilapil’s condition at the hospital.
Senior Supt. Joel Coronel, head of the task group, said Pilapil introduced herself as the actress in a bid to negotiate her and her companion’s safety with their attackers.
Coronel said she repeatedly begged the men to let them go and just take their money and vehicle.
“Kunin na ninyo ang aming pera at sasakyan. Kunin na ninyo lahat, pero huwag nyo kaming sasaktan (Just take our money and vehicle. Take everything, but please don’t hurt us),” Coronel quoted Pilapil as saying.
She told one of the perpetrators: “I’m a celebrity. Maraming nakakakilala sa akin (Many people know me).”
“Apparently, those two men did not recognize her and did not believe her when the victim said she was the actress Pilar Pilapil,” Pagdilao added.
As she pleaded with them, Coronel said, the men  shouted at Pilapil and threatened to harm her.
Then, one of them suddenly grabbed her and stabbed the actress in different parts of the body, he said.
“The victim said the men were continuously shouting at her while she was pleading for mercy.
“ Pilapil said she tried to resist the blows, but she could not block them,” he related.
Despite the multiple knife wounds, Coronel said the actress was able to give a  description of her attackers to CIDG investigators.
He said copies of the sketches of the suspected car thieves would be  distributed to police units and other law enforcement agencies to arrest the criminals and locate Rosel Jakosalem Penas, Pilapil’s missing companion.
Contrary to earlier media reports, he said Penas was not Pilapil’s driver, but a niece of the actress’s husband.
Coronel said Penas was on a summer vacation in the country and had just arrived from abroad.
Pilapil’s brother didn’t know of anyone who may want to kill her.
“I can’t think of anyone who might want to harm her,” said her younger brother Leo, a barangay councilor in Poblacion, Liloan town in northern Cebu.
He flew to Manila last Friday after hearing of the assault on his elder sister.
Leo said they are relying on the police to determine the perpetrators of the crime.
Pilapil was declared out of danger after surviving at least five stab wounds in a carjacking incident in Marikina City last Thursday night.
Pilapil’s  female companion who drove the car when the incident occurred remains missing, he said.
“She’s recuperating fast, we are so relieved that she’s  out of danger,” Leo said.
Leo said his sister can already talk comfortably after suffering bruises in her face. Pilapil can also eat by herself and move freely.
But she still can’t walk as her stab wounds have yet to fully heal.
Her brother Leo  arrived in the Medical City Hospital in Pasig City late Friday afternoon  and was relieved to see his elder sister conscious and ready to talk.
“As of now, we are just letting her rest. Her quick recovery is our priority,” he said.
Leo said the family will also call for a press conference this morning in the hospital.
According to Coronel, this was how Pilapil narrated her harrowing experience:
She and her husband met with Penas at the Robinsons Galleria mall in Ortigas at around 9 p.m. Thursday.
They then left him there as they drove to Marikina Riverbanks Center in Marikina City to meet some of Penas’ friends.
Penas was behind the steering wheel and was seated beside her on the front passenger seat.
As the vehicle slowed down, two men came out of nowhere, opened the vehicles rear doors and got in.
At knifepoint, they dragged Pilapil to the back of the vehicle while ordering Penas to drive toward Antipolo.
Pagdilao said it was likely that both men did not know how to drive as they did not commandeer the vehicle as car thieves usually do.
Coronel said the police were treating the incident as a possible case of carnapping, plain robbery or abduction.
He said the missing vehicle was owned by a private company and was described by Pilapil as a “late-model Kia wagon, possibly a Kia Carnival or Caravan.” Reporter Candeze Mongayan with an Inquirer report
Posted in: People, Showbiz