CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines—A harmless comment on the social network Facebook has cost the life of a 13-year old boy in El Salvador town in Misamis Oriental.
John Francis Bagapuro was allegedly mauled by 18-year-old Arnulfo Cariaga, following an exchange on Facebook over an uploaded photo showing Bagapuro with a girl.
Cariaga made a comment that the girl was the girlfriend of his friend and warned Bagapuro against courting her.
According to the victim’s older brother, Johnel, the only response that Bagapuro made to Cariaga’s comment was “wew.” Johnel said Cariaga responded on the comment thread by threatening to hurt Bagapuro should they meet.
On November 16, Bagapuro was on his way home from school when Cariaga, who was with two other friends, attacked him. According to Johnel, the incident was reported to the El Salvador police station on the same day. The victim was given pain relievers for his injuries at a hospital in El Salvador.
Two weeks after the mauling, the victim started complaining about headaches and was vomiting. He was taken to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro last December 8 where he fell into a coma.
According to the Johnel, John Francis underwent a CT scan that revealed a blood clot in the victim’s brain. The victim was pronounced dead by noon the following day.
“This has been a big blow to our family…we did not expect Cariaga to hurt my brother like that,” he said.
The Bagapura family initially filed a case against Cariaga for slight physical injuries, with the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office last November 20. On Tuesday, the family was advised by Prosecutor Ruby Malanog to submit supplemental documents such as death, medical certificates and family affidavits so that the charge could be upgraded to homicide.
“If the evidence is sufficient, we might find probable cause for filing a murder case … or at the very least, a homicide case against the respondent,” she said.