The Manila Police District (MPD) yesterday filed murder charges against the son of ErgoCha teahouse owner tagged in the “poisonous” milk tea that killed his father and a customer last month.
Lloyd Abrigo was also charged with frustrated murder before the Manila Prosecutor’s Office.
Abrigo’s father William and customer Suzaine Dagohoy died on April 9 minutes after drinking Hokkaido-flavored milk tea.
Dagohoy and her boyfriend, Arnold Aydalla, ordered milk tea from William, who made the drink himself.
Aydalla tasted the drink and vomited, prompting Dagohoy to taste it. She immediately felt ill.
Worried, William tasted the milk tea for himself. In five minutes, both Abrigo and Dagohoy fainted. Aydalla experienced dizziness.
All three were rushed to the Ospital ng Sampaloc, but Dagohoy and William were declared dead on arrival. Aydalla survived.
When asked why murder charges were filed against Abrigo, a source privy to the filing of the case said, “Because you’re not supposed to mix poison with food.”
Three sources said MPD investigators filed the case against Abrigo after the Philippine National Police, which conducted a second autopsy on William and Dagohoy, found poison in the victims’ remains.
One of the sources said the poison was a type of acid.
Abrigo earlier denied the allegation of their helper that he brought a chemical to the store the night before the alleged poisoning happened.
He claimed that he only mixed oolong tea in the beverage and that the only thing he asked from their helper was tap water.
According to their helper Raymundo Santos (not his real name), Lloyd brought a foul-smelling liquid to ErgoCha’s kitchen the night before the deaths of William and Dagohoy.
It was the second time that Lloyd allegedly brought something that smelled of bleach to the kitchen.
Further strengthening the case against Abrigo was the testimony of another helper identified as Ayee Alejandro bolstered the case against Abrigo.
The MPD said Alejandro corroborated Santos’ statement that after William and Dagohoy were rushed to the hospital, Abrigo ordered Santos to go back to the store and clean the pitcher that contained the milk tea.
Based on closed-circuit television footage, Abrigo and Santos went back to the hospital at past noon as William was fighting for his life in the hospital.
The CCTV unit was also said to have been deactivated and was only turned on again after the cleaning was completed.
Camera footage also jived with Santos’ earlier statement that Lloyd “mixed something” in Ergo’s kitchen the night before William and Dagohoy died.