‘Cults’ alarm Toboso, Escalante residents

Police in Toboso town in northern Negros are determined to solve the successive killings of two children recently as it downplayed reports that some cult members may have been behind the death of the kids.

The school and barangay officials also called parents to meetings at the different public schools in Toboso and Escalante City to brief them on the situation and advise them to be wary of the security of their children.

The Toboso Police arrested two men who are suspected to be members of a cultist group who came from Sorsogon, in the Bicol region.

The two, identified as Gerald Prado, 40, and Roberto Engganay, 50, are said to be behind the brutal murder of 6-year-old Jessie Tabotabo last June 12.

His eyeballs were taken out, his nipples removed and his testicles cut. Jessie’s remains was found at Sitio Curba Hagnayan, Barangay Tabun-ak in Toboso last June 13.

His 11-year-old brother Jimmy saw how Prado reportedly drowned his brother and told the Police of the incident.

Prado is said to be a native of Cabuyao in Laguna.

SPO3 Oscar Sisican, case investigator, said they are focusing their probe on the killing of Jessie Tabotabo and Rochelle Gepitolan.

Gepitolan, 11 years old, died after their house in Barangay Salamanca, Toboso was strafed Saturday night. His 41-year-old father Rodolfo was also hurt in the incident.

Sisican said they are yet to arrest the killers of Gepitolan. The strafing, according to reports, was allegedly done by three people.

This as 9-year-old Jericho Mahusay scared people from the Old Poblacion in Escalante City when he reported that three elderly men dressed in blue robes and sporting long hairs tried to abduct him last Sunday, June 24.

The men were reportedly armed with knives when the incident happened.

Mahusay, a Grade 4 student of the Danao Port Elementary School in Old Poblacion, said that he was only able to elude his abductors when two kids, he identified as Lyndon and Dominic, started throwing stones at the men, distracting their attention and thus giving him the chance to bite their hands for the escape.

However, when Police investigators went to the alleged abduction site at the Old Poblacion the boys were nowhere to be found. Neither were there boys by those names.

Mahusay narrated that he was about to buy ice from a neighborhood store when the three suspects reportedly grabbed his wrist and told him that they will pull his eyeballs out.

Afraid, Mahusay took the chance at biting the arms of his abductors when their attention was allegedly distracted by the boys.

This gave him the chance to run to safety.

Senior Insp. Mateo Maguate, Escalante City chief of police, has already mobilized his men to patrol the city’s boundaries and prevent more untoward incidents from happening.

He is hopeful that the patrols will protect the residents and discouraged the alleged cult members from victimizing people.

In the meantime, parents are advised to take extra care of their children, fetched children to and from schools and to keep them at home when night falls.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Sun Star, Philippines
June 28, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday June 29, 2006.
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