Man ‘who killed son’ a schizophrenic: doc

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Thursday, August 14, 2014


THREE days before Roberto Umpad, 29, killed his two-year-old son, neighbors and relatives had noticed his unusual behaviour.

Hilumon siya ug magsigeg hinuktok (He was very quiet and he looked like he had a lot on his mind),” said Odessa Capili, his neighbor.

In 2012, Umpad underwent treatment at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center’s (VSMMC) Center for Behavioral Science after suffering from a nervous breakdown.

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Traumatic youth

According to a relative, who asked not to be named, Umpad had a traumatic childhood because his father left him when he was still young while his mother went abroad.

Umpad had been admitted to the psychiatric ward six times.

He last went to the VSMMC on Feb. 14, 2013 for his check-up.

He was supposed to continue his medication but because they had no money, he stopped taking them last year.

Dr. Rene Obra, chief of the Center for Behavioral Sciences, said they diagnosed Umpad with schizophrenia.

The doctor described schizophrenia as a mental illness where a person loses contact with reality and experiences mood disorder symptoms.

The person affected with this illness will also manifest cognitive and emotional problems and will experience hallucinations while others show paranoia.

Restrained

“This is the most devastating brain disorder known to man,” Obra told Sun.Star Cebu.

Obra said there are many reasons people developed schizophrenia. These could be a family history, environment and stress, such as family problems and personal frustrations.

Yesterday, Umpad was brought to the facility right after the incident and had to be restrained so he wouldn’t get violent.

“He’s now okay. He has been treated,” Obra said.

He said they will still have to talk with Umpad and determine if he had a lucid interval or was responding to command hallucination when committing the alleged crime.

Lucid interval is when a patient regains consciousness and appears completely normal while command hallucination is when a patient hears and obeys voices that command them to perform certain acts.

Obra said they release mentally-ill patients if their conditions improve and they are no longer at risk to the public.

‘A loving father'

The facility can only accommodate 60 patients, but it has more patients who are admitted right now. “We are very limited right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, Capili said Umpad had no vices and was a loving father.

Yesterday, Umpad allegedly slit his son Prince Jassim’s throat after arguing with his live-in partner Alice Cañete. He was about to attack their five-year-old daughter Fatima Ann, but Cañete managed to grab her and ran.

Madelyn Damulo, a social worker, said the couple often argued, but Umpad was usually the one who made peace first with Cañete.

Damulo brought Cañete and Fatima to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral so they could talk to a priest.

Damulo is also a church collector and she suggested bringing the two to church because Fatima was traumatized by the incident.

Cañete and Fatima will also undergo stress-debriefing that will be conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The homicide investigator of the Cebu City Police Office said they will have to coordinate with the DSWD.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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