IT WAS NOT A BOLO, but a slender “bahi” or wooden stick that the suspect in Sunday evening’s incident used to pummel his wife and two children inside their home in Virac. Virac MPS photo
The man who battered his wife to death and injured two of their children in Virac last Sunday evening (Nov. 29, 2020) had been suffering from mental illness due to a botched lotto win.
Joevinal delos Santos, a native of Bagamanoc who married a lass from Francia and settled in a small house on a lot owned by his wife’s family, was a former barangay tanod, according to Barangay Chairman Melchor Manlangit.
In a phone interview, the village official said delos Santos was jobless and worked odd jobs by helping in someone’s farm or assisting construction workers.
With five children in the family, he and partner Marisol Vargas depended on the Conditional Cash Transfers of the government under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) for their daily sustenance.
It is claimed that months prior to the bloody incident, Joevinal apparently came under severe mental stress when he changed one number on the usual six numbers he betted on at the local lotto outlet.
When the original numbers were all picked during the draw, he suffered sleepless nights and lost his desire to converse until one day, he allegedly ran into a nearby compound and banged his head on the concrete wall.
De los Santos was hospitalized and came back apparently normal.
But the illness reportedly returned and he went home to his parents in Bagamanoc about six months ago until he was brought back to Virac this September by his parents, who assured his wife that he was already okay.
After supertyphoon Rolly struck the capital town, he was working at a nearby house when he was scolded by the owner over an undisclosed matter.
Joevinal took the scolding badly and did not sleep for a day.
Hours later, neighbors heard him quarreling with his wife, prompting a resident to call the police for assistance at 6:30 P.M.
Virac police chief Maj. Antonio Perez said the nearest mobile patrol vehicle immediately went to the scene and was met by residents who said, “Sir, tinaraga na su pamilya!”
At the small compound where the family lived, the law enforcers saw the three bloodied victims lying on the ground, with the suspect hiding in a dark portion.
The responding lawmen introduced themselves and called on him to surrender and lie on the ground but delos Santos instead rushed at the officers, prompting one of them to shoot the suspect once.
He and his wife were brought to the Eastern Bicol Medical Center (EBMC) where the woman was declared dead on arrival while the minor victims were rushed by responding Philippine Red Cross and Virac MDRRMO personnel to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital.
Of the five children, the one-year old was in the mother’s arms when the senseless attack began while the other child victim was out buying something when she heard her mother shout and ran in to help, only to be struck by her father.
All three victims were hit in the head by delos Santos using a slender “bahi” stick later found in the premises.
Both of the wounded children were in critical condition when treated at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital but are now recovering from their wounds, Chairman Manlangit said.
Charges of murder, two counts of frustrated parricide and assault upon an agent in authority are being readied for filing against the suspect.