Sun Star (Philippines), Mar. 13, 2003
By Victor L. Camion
Police looking into the Tuesday morning massacre of four Iglesia ni Cristo members in Upper Batinguel, dismissed speculations that the killer could have been a member of a cult or a satanic group.
Rumors of the alleged cult and its alleged murderous activities had spread like wildfire in the towns of Siaton, Zamboanguita and Dauin last month, but died out soon after.
As of press time, investigators identified the killer only as a certain Omik, from Barangay Hiligaon, Siaton town who, before the incident, asked help for the return of his estranged wife believed to be residing in the town of Guihulngan.
Supt. Constantino Barot Jr. confirmed the names of the victims as 50-year old Egliceria Burdas who was beheaded and whose other breast was slashed, her five-year old son Germilio, 15-year old son Ariel, and another son 18-year old Michael who died on the way to Holy Child Hospital.
Burdas’ husband Marino and son, Marino Jr. are under intensive care at Holy Child hospital.
A witness said that the killer held the five-yer old Burdas child hostage and refused to give himself up to the responding officers
Seeing, he had no other choice; the killer then stabbed the child many times in different parts of the body forcing the officers to shoot hitting him initially on the leg. The witnesses said the killer had shouted to responding police officers that he could not be killed because he was a Satanist.
Supt. Barot denied the report, only saying the killer “did not seem to feel anything” when the bullets hit him.
“Naigo gyud siya pero ingon sa wala mobati’g kasakit (He was hit but it seemed like nothing to him),” Supt. Barot said.
The responding policemen, barangay officials and neighbors at the scene saw Omik commit suicide by stabbing his throat.
Upon entering the house, the police found a gruesome scene and discovered the severed head of the slain woman wrapped in cloth.
The police chief said Omik arrived at the Burdas home around 7:00 p.m. Monday and asked to sleep there.
The killer then got Marino’s pledge to help get his estranged wife who was staying in the town of Guihulngan.
Before sleeping, Omik reportedly had a drink with Marino and other companions.
What happened later was unknown.
Boboy Lojario, son of Gliceria by her first husband, who was then sleeping on the second floor said that an unusual commotion from the first floor of the house woke him at around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday dawn.
Thinking robbers might have broken in, he opened and banged the door and was horrified to see Omik stabbing his younger brother Michael.
Lojario said he rushed out to try to help his brother but his sister Angie pulled him away to escape the stabs.
Getting hold of his bleeding brother, Lojario rushed him to the hospital leaving the other victims inside the house.
Angie on the other hand, told that probers she was awakened by the commotions and on inspecting the cause, saw her stepbrother Ariel lying bloodied on the floor, her step father grappling with the armed killer and her mother bathed in blood causing her to shout for help.
Probers believed the suspect could have lost his mind after his wife, a relative of Gliceria left him.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo local officials also junk the speculations that the killer could have been a member of a cult or a satanic group.