By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The suspect in the recent killing of three children in Calatrava, Negros Occidental claimed he was ordered by Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, to commit the crime.
In a radio interview yesterday morning, Calatrava municipal police chief, Police Chief Inspector John Joel Batusbatusan, said 21-year-old John Mark Melibo claimed the mythological figure compelled him to kill his three siblings.
Batusbatusan believes the motive is a sign the suspect may be suffering from mental illness, although his parents have expressed their desire to proceed with filing parricide charges.
The police chief said, once charges are filed, he will leave the decision to the court if they choose to proceed or drop the case by reason of insanity.
Batusbatusan also pointed out the suspect’s self-inflicted wounds on his arms, which read “John Mark Omega” and “Futures in and out.”
Barangay Marcelo Captain Jeremias Diotay confirmed the victims’ mother, Perla, arrived on Sunday afternoon after learning of the incident.
Diotay said they are now preparing burial assistance to provide for the family.
The barangay official said, prior to the killings, Melibo was seen as a good and smart man, with no vices. However he pointed out, problems within the family and poverty may have taken a toll on the suspect’s mental state.
He also noted, when they visited the suspect in his Calatrava Municipal Police Station detention cell, they did not see any remorse from the suspect.
Calatrava Mayor Araceli Somosa, meanwhile, said she has ordered Diotay to provide “anything the family needs” until the victims’ burial.
She is also planning to meet with the Melibo family this week to talk to them personally.
The mayor urged local residents that have family members with mental illness to have them check in with the town’s psychiatrist in order to get them proper medication and avoid similar future incidents.
Last Saturday, Melibo slashed the necks of one-year-old Gregor Melibo, five-year-old Alejandro Melibo, and 14-year-old Jun Renz Melibo, inside their home at Sitio Palala, Barangay Marcelo.
The suspect was later arrested on Sunday morning after Diotay and several concerned citizens spotted him hiding in a hole near their house./DGB, WDJ