Canice Minica Seming, 29
The murder victim, Canice Minica Seming, 29, is an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who had recently returned home for Christmas. Image Credit: Screengrab | GMA News

Manila: A heartbreaking incident unfolded in Antipolo City as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), Canice Minica Seming, 29, who had recently returned home for Christmas, was found dead.

Philippine media reported the tragic event appeared to be an unintended consequence of a conflict involving the primary suspect, a carpenter, and the latter’s ex-partner, who works from the victim's family as a nanny.

According to a report on GMA News “24 Oras”, Seming sustained at least 15 stab wounds. Her lifeless body was discovered on Thursday (December 21, 2023) inside the house of a relative in a subdivision in Antipolo City.

Expressing deep sorrow, Jose Garcia, the victim's brother-in-law, lamented: “The worst Christmas ever. We were looking forward to having fun this Christmas.”

Person of interest

At the center of this harrowing criminal case stands Art Tondo, a former employee of the Garcia family’s household.

Chilling CCTV footage unveils Tondo’s ominous presence, haunting the subdivision on that fateful night. A darkened figure, burdened by a backpack, his hands ominously wiping away traces of an unknown truth.

Garcia disclosed that Tondo had been asked to take a leave due to previous issues related to money handling and attitude problems. Despite these, theft doesn’t seem to be the motive, as Garcia questioned, “If it was theft, why was only Canice’s phone stolen when her bag, containing her wallet, cards, and even her passport, was right next to her?”

Police probe, arrest

The police investigation revealed that Tondo was attempting to reconcile with a domestic worker of the Garcias, Tondo’s former partner, who was not present during the crime.

This has led investigators to suspect that Seming might have been an accidental victim in what is perceived as a “crime of passion”.

It was also noted that Tondo had a previous criminal record. It a "ping" from the victim's mobile phone allegedly stolen by the suspect that led police to his arrest, Col. Mary Grace Riego Madayag, chief of Mandaluyong Police, told ABS-CBN’s digital TV Patrol.

The victim was the sister of Sey Garcia, the stepmum of renowned Filipina actress Coleen Garcia.

The apprehension took place in Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. Tondo was cornered by authorities who recognised him from the haunting image circulating in local news reports. A police officer said there seemed to be "no sense of remorse" when Tondo was arreted. 

Notably, Filipina actress Coleen Garcia has made a passionate appeal for Tondo's arrest.