12-year-old boy kills self after scolding from father

Virac Mayor Samuel Laynes has ordered the police to conduct an investigation into the death by hanging of a 12-year-old boy in barangay Capilihan last Sunday, the first suicide incident of the year if confirmed.

It is claimed that the boy, who was a Grade 7 pupil, was allegedly scolded and probably punched by his father.

The mother of the boy reportedly left the house to buy food from the public market and came home to find their eldest child hanging by a rope and already dead.

Investigators were set to interview the father as well as the boy’s seven-year-old sibling who was with him inside the house.

It may be recalled that the municipal government of Virac has expressed concern last month after suicide cases increased fivefold in the capital town compared to 2021.

The Catanduanes Police Provincial Office disclosed to the Tribune that for 2022, a total of 16 suicide incidents in the island province as of Dec. 22, with Virac accounting for 10 of the cases.

The other six cases of people killing themselves came from Viga with two and Bagamanoc, Caramoran, Pandan and San Andres with one each.

What made Mayor Samuel Laynes apprehensive was that during the previous three years, there was a total of only four suicides, two each in 2019 and 2021.

Among the 11 towns, there were only seven suicides in 2019, eight in 2020 and nine in 2021, with the 16 cases in 2022 nearly doubling the previous year’s tally.

To provide another comparison, the suicide tally for 2022 is nearly three times the death toll left by super typhoon Rolly when it ravaged the southern part of the island on Nov. 1, 2020.

The same CATPPO records showed in the past four years, Virac has had 14 suicides, followed by Viga and San Andres with five each, San Miguel with four, Caramoran with three, Bagamanoc, Baras, Bato and Pandan with two each, Gigmoto with one and Panganiban with zero case.

In Virac, the spate of self-inflicted deaths began with the Jan. 15 murder-suicide incident in Hawan Ilaya where a 25-year-old police officer shot dead his wife and infant son before killing himself.

Two more men aged 29 and 18 hanged themselves in Calatagan Proper and Francia in the next two weeks before a Francia woman, 25, also did the same on Feb. 4 in Palnab del Sur.

In March, a 26-year-old man in San Roque also died from self-inflicted asphyxia, with the next case recorded nearly two months later in May, a Palnab del Norte man, 20, who also hanged himself.

Another 20-year-old man from Valencia followed suit in July, a Sogod Tibgao resident, 40, also taking his own life in August, and a 39-year-old male from Sto. Cristo who did the same in October.

The last incident in the CATPPO database was a 24-year-old man from Igang who also, like majority of the incidents, hanged himself last Dec. 10 in an abandoned house.

According to unconfirmed reports, the man was sent home a few years ago from Metro Manila after a rape case was allegedly filed against him. He lived with relatives since then, rarely left the house and was not visited by his parents who stayed in the metropolis.

Except for the police officer, the other 15 suicide cases in the police record were single and all died by hanging.

Last Dec. 14, a 50-year-old jobless, married man reportedly hanged himself in Capilihan but the police has yet to report the same as a suicide.

A member of the family allegedly claimed the victim did not have a reason to kill himself as he helped his wife in her livelihood of selling “kakanin” and other food items.

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