Victim’s son, pals seen as suspects; killings occurred amid fiestaBy Gabriel C. Bonjoc, Jhunnex Napallacan
Cebu Daily News
A lifetime grudge and bad influence from friends supposedly led a teenager to murder his pregnant mother and 5-year-old half-sister inside their home in barangay Naalad, Naga City, late last Thursday evening.
Virgindina Bantilan and Geraldine Bantilan sustained stab wounds on their heads and various parts of their bodies.
Naga police pointed to Bantilan’s 16-year-old son as the primary suspect with his two teenage companions identified as accomplices.
The 39-year-old Bantilan was eight months pregnant at the time of the murder.
Their remains were discovered by a neighbor’s 9-year-old girl at past 6 a.m. yesterday.
Chief Insp. Timmar Alam, Naga City police chief, said Bantilan’s son is now in police custody.
He said the minor is Virgindina’s son from a previous partner and stayed with his aunt.
Alam said the son’s 19-year-old companion Bryan Pansoy, a resident of sitio Sindulan, barangay Tinaan, Naga City, drove the motorcycle towards the victim’s home.
Pansoy allegedly provided a .357 revolver to the suspect.
Another 19-year-old companion, Mark Lester Abatas, reportedly paid P800 to the suspect after he pawned the victim’s cell phone to him.
In a press conference, Alam said the 16-year-old first expressed outrage over the deaths of his mother and half-sister.
But upon interrogation, Alam said the teenager admitted that he wanted to get money from his mother.
He said the 16-year-old suspect and Pansoy agreed to get money from his mother so they could buy drinks for a fiesta disco held in sitio Sindulan last Thursday.
Alam said the three of them were drinking at the time and wanted to buy more liquor.
Alam said Pansoy provided the gun and then drove his motorcycle with the suspect towards Virgindina’s home.
Pansoy waited along the highway while the suspect entered his mother’s home located in an elevated terrain.
“When he went to the house, he said he wanted to buy cigarettes. His half-sister saw him and opened the door for him,” Alam said.
He said the neighbors recalled hearing the boy quarrel with his mother inside the house but they chose to ignore it.
Alam said the 16-year-old recounted to them that he entered his mother’s house and saw his mother lying on the bamboo bench.
The suspect struck Virgindina on the head with the gun and hit his half-sister’s mouth for fear that she would call out for help.
The suspect then took a knife and repeatedly stabbed the victims.
Alam said the suspect took his mother’s cell phone and pawned it to Abatas for P800. All three then went back to the fiesta disco.
Alam said a 9-year-old girl went to the victim’s store to buy something at 6:15 a.m. yesterday and knocked at the door of the store, which is connected to the living room.
Curious that no one was responding, the girl opened the door and was shocked to see the bloodied remains of the victims.
Geraldine’s body was on the floor while Virgindina lie on the bamboo bench.
The girl ran to her aunt who told a neighbor. The incident was reported to the Naga police later that morning.
A small bloodstained knife was recovered in the crime scene while the revolver and cell phone were found in Pansoy’s house.
The 16-year-old son bore some bruises when he was picked up by police.
Virgindina and Geraldine lived on the house since her husband is working overseas.
Alam said the money inside the victim’s vault remained intact.
The suspect stayed in the house of Virgindina’s sister who lived nearby.
“Gipalayas kuno nang bataa kaniadto kay badlongon (He was driven out of the house because he was hard-headed),” Alam said.
Natividad Francia, Virgindina’s sister, blamed her nephew’s friends for his criminal behavior.
Natividad said her nephew first stayed with his grandparents when Virgindina got married because Virgindina didn’t like her son’s habit of wasting money.
She said her sister worked as a helper in Hong Kong for nearly five years and returned home pregnant with another man’s child.
Natividad said the 16-year-old resented his mother’s pregnancy and stepfather.
Despite this, Natividad said her nephew continued to buy cigarettes from his mother’s store.
She said the bad influence of his friends caused the suspect to repeat first year high school four times.
The fourth time that he failed to pass first year high, the son stayed with Natividad.
An emotional Natividad said her nephew lacked parental love and guidance and sought approval from his friends.
At the Naga City police precinct, Natividad confronted her nephew and asked him why he killed his own mother and sister.
Sally Pansoy, Ryan’s mother, denied her son’s involvement but admitted that the suspect went to their home last Thursday evening to celebrate their barangay’s fiesta.
She said her son attended the disco but didn’t go with the suspect.
Parricide charges are being readied against the suspect, while Pansoy may face charges of conspiracy.
Alam said they are studying the possibility of charging Abatas with violation of the anti-fencing law, since he accepted and paid for a stolen cell phone.