Granny, child die in robbery-A A +A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
CEBU CITY -- A grandmother and her granddaughter were found dead, with multiple stab wounds, inside their house in the mountain village of Kabangbang, Bantayan Island, Cebu early Monday morning.
An autopsy showed Patricia Batoy, 74, was stabbed 14 times while Angelica Pasilaban, 9, bore six stab wounds, police said.
The suspects in the robbery are allegedly the same men who were arrested for stealing money from Batoy a few years ago.
Two charcoal-makers were arrested separately; one of them was just moments away from boarding a ferry to Negros Occidental.
Robbery was eyed as a motive after cash and jewelry were recovered from Ruben Tabion, 20, and Romel dela Peña, 21.
Inspector Ildefonso Miranda Jr., the town’s police chief, told Sun.Star Cebu the killing was discovered at 5:30 a.m.
Neighbors found it strange that Batoy didn’t respond to their calls, so they asked a family living nearby, whom Batoy trusted, to open the gate.
Inside, Miranda said, they found bloodstains on the ground that led up to the main door of the house in Sitio Bagong Lipunan.
Some of the things were already in disarray. They then saw the victims sprawled on a bed.
Before the crime, the suspects were seen buying a bottle of liquor at the store Batoy owned. At dawn, some neighbors recalled they heard dogs barking, but they didn’t find that unusual at that time.
Investigators said whoever murdered the two must have climbed over the fence, then destroyed the knob of the main door.
Tabion sustained an injury on his right hand, which the police said was a sign that Batoy tried to fight back.
In a follow-up police operation, Dela Peña of Sitio Vito, Barangay Kangka-ibe was arrested at 9 a.m. in the wharf, while waiting for the M/V Christina to sail for Estancia, Negros Occidental.
He was with Tabion’s live-in partner, who was four months pregnant.
Police found a bag in Dela Peña’s possession with P4,000 cash, a gold ring and Batoy’s identification card.
He was wearing two shirts, and the bottom one had bloodstains.
Tabion, on the other hand, was caught in Sitio Tangke, Barangay Ticad while asking for help to treat his injury. He was carrying the kitchen knife he allegedly used in the crime.
During an interrogation, Tabion admitted killing the victims while Dela Peña held Batoy.
“Giapil na lang pud daw nila ang bata nga naa ra sa tupad natulog (They decided to include the child, who was sleeping),” Miranda said.
He added the suspects were previously arrested when they robbed Batoy a few years ago. It was not confirmed whether the two men served time, or whether Batoy decided not to press charges.
The police chief said they are now going after two other men, who could have served as lookouts.
He is not discounting the possibility that more cash was taken, since Batoy was known in the area for lending money to her neighbors.
Dr. James Najarro of the Bantayan District Hospital conducted the autopsy.
The victims were living alone since most of Batoy’s children are reportedly abroad. Pasilaban, who is a grade three pupil of Vito Elementary School, was left in her grandmother’s care as her parents are working in Cebu City.
“Mga demonyo ni ang mga nagpatay. Way kalooy (The men who did these are demons; they showed no mercy),” Police Chief Miranda said. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 30, 2013.