MANILA, Philippines—What drove outgoing Cagayan de Oro Representative Benjo Benaldo to shoot himself on the night he was moving out of his office at the House of Representatives?
Was it losing to his rival, incoming Cagayan de Oro legislator Klarex Uy of the ruling Liberal Party, or his recent marital problems with Brazilian actress and model Daiana Menezes?
No statement has been given by Benaldo’s office as of Friday noon. Menezes, who accompanied him at the hospital, has also remained mum on the incident.
Police say no foul play, only solon knows what happened
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. on Friday appealed that the public respect Benaldo and his family’s privacy.
“Right now the incident continues to be thoroughly investigated and I hope that we all respect the privacy of the family at this time and avoid any other speculations,” he said in a statement.
“Benjo has not disclosed his reasons for what happened and may do so at the right time,” he added.
Belmonte said that he has ordered for the full report of the incident from House Sergeant-at-Arms General Nicasio Radovan.
Radovan was already in close coordination with the Quezon City Police Department, he said.
Authorities on Friday said that they have ruled out foul play, leaving the outgoing lawmaker to clarify what exactly drove him to try to take his own life.
Benaldo, a member of the Nacionalista Party, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest by his staff Thursday night while they were clearing his office at the South Wing of the House of Representatives.
The Cagayan de Oro congressman was a member of the majority bloc and was vice chairperson of the House committee on energy in the 15th Congress.
Recently, the Brazilian actress hinted on social networking sites about domestic violence.
In interviews Thursday night at the New Era Hospital where a bloodied Benaldo was rushed, Belmonte said that the outgoing lawmaker might have been depressed over losing his post to Uy.
He said that Benaldo was alone inside his office at the time of the incident.
Menezes rushed to her husband’s side Thursday night and was with him when an ambulance transferred him to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City.
The Cagayan de Oro lawmaker was in a “good condition” and was even “able to converse” after he was treated for his gunshot wound, Belmonte said.