Bridge jumper just ‘wanted to swim’
HOMICIDE charges were filed yesterday against the 30-year-old man who jumped from the old Mandaue-Mactan bridge and fell on a swimmer who was spear fishing at night.
At the Lapu-Lapu City Jail, the jumper said he wasn’t trying to commit suicide last Wednesday.
He told Cebu Daily News he didn’t feel well and just wanted “to swim.”
Aniano Berdin of barangay Babag looked down and kept his silence when he was told that the man he accidentally landed on with great force was killed.
Some of Berdin’s answers were incoherent after a while.
He talked about being a drug user
once, but insisted he no longer has the vice.
Neighbors in sitio Radar said Berdin was known to be mentally disturbed especially if he skipped meals and would roam aimlessly around the city.
His elder siblings supported his upkeep as he was living with his 80-year-old grandmother.
A sister visited him in jail Thursday evening but didn’t say what the family would do.
The eldest daughter of the victim, Danilo Sison, said they decided to file a complaint of homicide to prevent others from coming to harm.
“We filed charges against him so that whatever happens at least he will be placed in a mental institution so no more lives would be lost,” said Analiza Sison.
Her mother Maria Theresa had urged Danilo to drop plans to spear fish in the waters under the bridge that night because it was their daughter’s birthday .
Sison, a resident of sitio Pasansi, barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City, once worked in Singapore as a welder until 2006 when he came home for good. Spearfishing was his favorite pastime.
Danilo was struck on the neck when the bridge jumper hit the water. Cebu Daily News withholds the identities of those who attempt suicide but after Berdin’s revelation that he just intended to go for a swim, the paper decided to identify him.
Analiza recalled how she tried to persuade her father not to go to the sea that night.
“It was painful that it had to happen on my birthday. I tried to stop him but he wouldn’t listen and then someone told me that he died,” a tearful Analiza told reporters in as she stood in front of her father’s coffin.
Analiza said their family didn’t allow her father’s remains to undergo an autopsy.
His funeral is set next Wednesday at the Lapu-Lapu City cemetery.
The Capitol said it will extend P5,000 in aid, one sack of rice and canned goods to Sison’s family.
In a press conference, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said the incident was “bizarre” and that it took police some time to respond./Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus
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