THREE residents of Sitio Maaslom, Barangay Busay, Cebu City were stabbed by a suspected drug user last Monday night after they allegedly reported the suspect to authorities.
Cyric Balolot, 22, survived a stab wound in his arm, but couple Ricardo and Francisca Cupta were not so lucky.
Ricardo, 63, and Francisca, 62, died from multiple stab wounds.
The attack happened inside the Cuptas’ house.
Afraid for his safety, suspect Eduardo Ardiente, 27, surrendered to Busay Councilor Renato Caballes at noon yesterday.
Busay Councilor Yodie Sanchez said Ardiente was calm.
“He regrets what happened. He was drunk at the time but he was still aware of his actions,” Sanchez said in Cebuano.
He said the victims knew the suspect.
“Apparently, Ardiente was a regular at the couple’s house,” Sanchez said in Cebuano.
According to PO3 Edardio Manatad, homicide investigator, Caballes accompanied the suspect to the Cebu City Police Office Homicide Section for interrogation.
“Ardiente surrendered earlier this afternoon. He said he hid in a mountainous area in Busay. He turned himself in because he feared for his life,” Manatad told Sun.Star Cebu in Cebuano.
Manatad said the suspect was too drunk to recognize the victims when he committed the crime. Ardiente also denied he was high on drugs during the incident, saying he only drinks.
In an earlier police report, Cyric said he was tending their store when the suspect arrived to buy a cigarette and then asked if they could talk.
He said Ardiente suddenly stabbed him and fled.
But Ardiente had told Sanchez that he heard Cyric’s father Allan say that he (Ardiente) was on the list of drug users in the area, which made him angry.
“Ardiente said Allan had been teasing him, adding that the latter was his original target. But then he saw Cyric,” Sanchez said Cebuano.
Not on the list
After stabbing Cyric, the suspect fled to the Cuptas’ house.
Wilfred Pableo told police that he was on his way to buy water outside the couple’s house when he saw Ardiente go inside.
He said he was shocked when Ardiente suddenly stabbed Ricardo and Francisca several times.
After hearing the couple’s cry for help, a relative arrived and hit the suspect with an iron rod, prompting Ardiente to flee.
Ricardo, who was rushed to the Cebu City Medical Center, was declared dead at 8:58 p.m.. His wife was brought to the Perpetual Succour Hospital, where she died at 9:40 pm.
Meanwhile, Busay Councilor Kevin Sanchez said Ardiente is not on the list Oplan Tokhang.
“People here know Ardiente. They know he uses drugs. But we don’t have a list of drug users. We only have list of pushers,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
Ardiente, who is detained in the Cebu City Police Office stockade, will face two counts of murder and frustrated murder.
His family is staying in the barangay hall because they, too, fear for their safety. Euchrissa Theresa Ladrera, UP Cebu Intern