‘I was killing a manananggal’
The killer sat behind bars in the Tabuelan municipal jail and said he didn’t regret killing his 6-year-old niece and acting like a cannibal.
Efren Matedios, 29, who was arrested at home yesterday, said he was only “helping” the little girl by stopping her from changing into a “manananggal,” a winged figure in Filipino folklore who is half-human and half-monster.
Matedios was naked when police tracked him down in his house in barangay Villahermosa, about 12 kilometers from the town proper.
The death of 6-year-old Lara Mae Concodes, who was stabbed, stripped naked and her internal organs removed and eaten by her uncle on Monday, has horrified the rural town in north Cebu.
Police brought the uncle to a hospital, where doctors will try to find out whether the act of cannibalism is a sign of mental derangement.
“A good man with no vices,” was how some neighbors and relatives described Matedios.
Barangay captain Marian Donasco told Cebu Daily News that they were shocked by the crime because Matedios was a doting uncle.
“He really loved his niece. Until now we are shocked about what happened. We can’t believe Efren did it,” she said.
Matedios told Cebu Daily News he put salt in the girl’s internal organs to kill her immediately because he saw on television once that this was how to kill a “mananaggal.”
He denied he was on drugs or a member of a demonic cult.
The man told police he used a broken jalousie blade to disembowel the girl and ignored her cries.
He said he left the blade under a rock in a cave, but police went to the site, going as deep as 25 feet, without finding it.
The victim’s mother Elizabeth, 28, said that she thinks her only brother is unbalanced and dangerous, but can’t abandon him.
“Wala man ko pinalabi pero pinangga man pud gud ko sa akong manoy,” she said.
And nobody else will help him, she told CDN outside the jail.
Elizabeth brought him flood and clothes but kept her distance.
“I’m afraid he might do something,” she said but said she pitied him.
Elizabeth said that after Monday’s brutal killing she wanted her brother killed but realized later she’s the only family member who can help him.
She said she would leave the fight for justice up to law enforcers and God.
Elizabeth separated from her husband, Lito, a few years ago.
She lived with her grandmother, Pablita and Efren together with her second son, Kent Gabriel, 8. Another 10-year-old son stays with the father in Camotes Island.
Lito was at the funeral wake yesterday.
SPO3 Christopher Sanchez, deputy chief of Tabuelan police station said a murder charge would be filed today.
He said police found one witness who can testify that the uncle ate the little girl’s internal organs.
Lara Mae will be buried at 2 p.m. Today in Tabuelan.
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