SINGING and fish brought trouble. Fanciful claims, the “dead” appearing, and mysterious and mundane articles causing injury made 2015 a banner year for the peculiar.
CAROLING WITH A CURSE. In February, street caroler Renato Cabradilla, 30, shot dead his cousin Gerardo Tangayan, 46, and his caroler-friends, brothers Jeffrey, 23, and Jerome Cabucayan, 19, in Barangay Buot, Cebu City. He said Tangayan had had him cursed over a land dispute. Months earlier, he and Jeffrey had gone caroling at the Danao City fiesta where a resident gave them rice and chicken that made them sick. Quack doctors he sought for his persistent pain told Cabradilla he was a victim of black magic. He shot his friends, saying it wouldn’t have been fair if they didn’t die as well, as they had caroled together. “Bati kaayo di sila mamatay nga kami ramang kuyuga.”
REDUCED AFTER DEATH. After Harold Siton, 35, was shot in February, relatives brought him to the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), where he died and was brought to its container van-cum-morgue. Hours later, they found rats gnawing on the corpse’s nose. Mayor Michael Rama said pest control and a new CCMC were needed. The CCMC had been using a temporary site after its building was damaged during the 2013 earthquake.
IMPOSSIBLE VIOLATION. A police official, 52, had Nigerian national Ghukmelie Ezeal, 30, arrested for attempting to make him perform oral sex on him in a Cebu City mall’s comfort room in February. He said the Nigerian exposed his genitals and shoved his head into his groin. But Ezeal said this was impossible, as he had suffered a stroke 10 days earlier. Half of his body was paralyzed; he could not even move his left hand. What happened, Ezeal said, was he was urinating when the policeman came in, couldn’t wait for his turn, and pushed him out of the toilet.
ALIVE AND KICKING. Juana, 50, kicked and clawed her husband, Pedro, a marine biologist at the Cebu Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office, on learning his personnel records showed he was a widower. The two had not communicated for 20 years after Juana left Pedro. Pedro’s boss explained that after the court granted his petition for presumptive death of his first wife in 2012, Pedro remarried. But the second wife died, so he indicated that he was a widower. Juana said Pedro had not been supporting their two children.
PELLETS OUT OF NOWHERE. Ledina Antig, 40, accused Senior Insp. Jomar Medil of slapping her face and shooting her with an airsoft gun, the pellets wounding her leg, during an operation against players of the illegal card game “tong-its” in Alcoy town. Medil denied this, saying when his team arrived on April 9, the gamblers scampered and he saw a woman get entangled in barbed wire and fall to the ground. He said his airsoft gun was damaged years ago, so he didn’t bring it to the operation.
“PRIEST” USING VIRGIN. In August, the Archdiocese of Cebu stepped in after hearing that a certain Fr. Elino Sosimo Enricoso was celebrating mass in Borbon and Tabogon towns. Enricoso brought with him an image of the Virgin Mary as an excuse to celebrate mass in homes. If a homeowner refused a mass, Enricoso would say it was a sin to refuse the Virgin Mary. Enricoso denied he was an imposter, saying he was a priest of the Apostolic Catholic Church, which follows Roman Catholic teachings but is not in communion with the Vatican.
“SINGERS” FACE RAP. Dennis Pizarra, 25, Christian Villaver, 19, and Mayward Patricio, 26, boarded a jeepney in August, introduced themselves as rappers, and told passengers they would knock on their hearts with a song. But after singing, they pointed an iron saw at two passengers. “I will cut off the heads of those who don’t give us money,” one threatened. The victims kept their heads; the singers landed in jail.
UNDERWEAR-FREE. After a detainee tried to kill himself using the garter of his underpants in the Mabolo Police Station detention cell in Cebu City, Mabolo Police Chief Hartzel Peter Billedo said he would consider prohibiting detainees from wearing undergarments with garters. Commission on Human Rights officer-in-charge Arvin Odron called this an encroachment on the inmates’ right to privacy. He said shirts and pants could be used in suicides as well, and expressed concern these might be prohibited too.
NOT ONLY THE FISH DIVE. In October, diving instructor and father of seven Al Bernard Coyoca, 33, was found floating lifeless at sea. He had gone diving hours earlier in Daanbantayan. The autopsy revealed “traumatic injuries to the head and trunk compatible with blast incidence.” Mistaking him for a fish, fisherman Jindo Pepito, 21, had thrown dynamite in his direction.
GOING DOWN TOGETHER. Jeck Ian Carillo, 11, caught a lizard fish in the shallow waters off Barangay Olang, Maria, Siquijor last October and tried to kill it by biting it. But the fish slipped from his hands, jumped into his mouth, got stuck in his throat and choked him to death instead.
WISDOM SPEAKS. Taxi driver Irvin Oliveros, 52, tied himself to the Capitol flagpole in October on the orders of “Wisdom,” a voice that also ordered him to summon four people with great responsibilities to the nation—ex-President Fidel Ramos, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Socrates Villegas and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. They should prepare their shoulders and feet to carry out the will of God, not of strangers, he said. Asked if he was a lunatic, he said the prophets Abraham, Noah, Moses and the national hero Jose Rizal had also been accused of being lunatics. “He is a lunatic to the dead but a wise man before the angels,” he said.