Police: Gambling debts drove man to kill son, wife, selfBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Financial problems due to gambling debts may have driven a Manila jeweler to kill himself after bashing the skulls of his 8-year-old son and his wife with a hammer while they slept in their bedroom, police said Thursday.
“He gambled heavily in cockfighting and apparently lost a lot of money,” SPO1 Jonathan Moreno of the Manila Police District homicide section told the Inquirer.
That, he added, was the only possible motive that could have driven Nelson Cruzat, 38, to kill his son Christian Mark and 30-year-old wife Cecil inside their home at 1719 Almeda Street, Barangay 251 Zone 23 in Tondo before shooting himself in the wee hours Wednesday.
Moreno said Cruzat had incurred hundreds of thousands of pesos in debts to finance his gambling and apparently had no means of paying off his creditors.
He pointed out that one of Cruzat’s creditors was his cousin Apolinario Ylagan from whom he borrowed at least P100,000 in cash. Ylagan claimed that Cruzat owed a lot of other friends and relatives, Moreno said.
Asked if Cruzat had shown any sign of depression before the killings, Moreno told the Inquirer that based on the initial statements of the victims’ relatives, “He (Cruzat) acted normal and displayed no odd behavior which could have indicated his intentions of killing himself and his family.”
Based on her initial statement, Flora Padullon, 65, Cruzat’s mother-in-law, last saw him, her grandson and her daughter watching TV Tuesday night in the living room of their house until they decided to call it a night and head to their room on the second floor.
Padullon recounted that at around 3 a.m. Wednesday, while she was preparing breakfast, she heard a loud sound but thought it was a firecracker.
At around 11 a.m, worried that that there was no response to her repeated knocking on the bedroom door, Padullon sought help from local barangay officials to force the door open, and it was only then the grisly killings were discovered.
Moreno observed that the boy and his mother were repeatedly struck on the forehead with both the head and claws of the hammer.
“They were apparently killed while they were asleep,” he said, adding that Cruzat soon after shot himself in the temple with a 9-mm pistol while lying down on the floor beside the bed.
The case investigator ruled out the possibility of an intruder who could have perpetrated the killings and said that it was a case of double parricide and suicide.
None of the relatives of those killed has given a formal statement to the police.
The bodies were taken to the Sanctuary funeral parlor on Batangas Street in Sta. Cruz.