“He should have left the children alone and just killed himself,” an anguished woman said of her husband whom she found dead together with their two teenage kids Sunday.
Police Officer 3 Rodel Benitez of the Manila Police District homicide section said the police were still investigating if there was foul play in the death of Jacinto de Guzman, 38, his daughter Jennifer, 17, and son Jeramel, 18. Their bodies were discovered by De Guzman’s wife, Editha, inside their house at 2411-D L. Rivera St., Sta. Cruz, Manila.
According to Benitez, the police were also trying to determine if De Guzman had killed his children and his motive for doing so.
Editha’s 9-year-old nephew, James Benetyr Cuasay, who was in the house during the incident, said De Guzman woke him up after Editha and his father, Bernardo Cuasay, left the house around 5 a.m. to sell chicken at Trabajo Market in Sampaloc.
James was then sleeping beside Jeramel in the lower bunk of a double-deck bed with Jennifer in the upper bunk. All three were in a room on the second floor.
“He pulled my feet then told me to sleep downstairs,” James told the Inquirer. While lying on the sofa, James said he heard a commotion and De Guzman telling someone, “Stay there and don’t go down.”
James added that De Guzman went downstairs, took from the bathroom a bottle which contained a silver cleaning solution and then went back to the second floor.
The boy said he heard Jennifer say, “Dad, please stop,” followed by a shout from Jeramel.
De Guzman then went down again and told him, “Go play outside since you’re only pretending to sleep,” James recounted.
“I was afraid. But I didn’t ask for help because I don’t know what really happened there,” he added.
When Editha came home from the market, she found her husband dead, lying face down on the bed beside Jennifer who had froth in her mouth. Jeramel, whose face had bumps and bruises, was lying on the floor.
An autopsy was underway to determine the victims’ cause of death although the police believe they died after ingesting the silver cleaning solution.
MPD homicide section chief Senior Inspector Ismael dela Cruz ruled out robbery since there was no sign of forced entry or missing items.
Asked if he believed De Guzman killed his children, Bernardo, who lives with the family, said yes. “He would hit the children even for small offenses,” he added.