VILLABA, LEYTE – An 86-year-old female died, whose head almost snapped from her neck, in a hacking incident in Sitio Hillview, Barangay Payao, Villaba, Leyte at about 10:00 in the evening on May 17, 2024.

The victim was identified as Leonila Cejas, 86, a widow and a resident of the said place. On the other hand, the suspect was identified as Peter Guevarra, of legal age, single, unemployed, and also a resident of the said barangay.

Accordingly, the Villaba Municipal Police Station (MPS) responded to a call from a concerned citizen and a resident of said place named Ann Febra pertaining to the occurrence of said hacking incident. When the police arrived at the scene of the incident, the son of the victim immediately approached the responding police and guided them to the scene of the incident. 

Upon reaching the house of the victim, they saw the senior citizen, who was sitting on the bamboo flooring with apparent hack wounds on the nape that almost beheaded her.

According to preliminary findings, at approximately 8:00 P.M. that day, the victim’s son came home with his live-in partner, who had earlier that day left for Barangay Masisi, Tabango, Leyte due to the death of a direct family member. When he was more or less 15 meters from his house, he saw the suspect hacking his mother using a long-bladed weapon also known as a “sundang.” He called the attention of the suspect and attempted to help, but was quite hesitant because the suspect was carrying a weapon.

The suspect immediately fled in an unknown direction with the bladed weapon used. After which, he shouted in order for their neighbors to hear him.

Meanwhile, Villaba MPS requested the assistance of Dr. Oliver B. Razo of the Municipal Health Unit (MHO) for the conduct of the post-mortem examination, but he was not around. According to the assigned investigator of said incident, Police Staff Sergeant (PSSg.) Jaime Dagandan, Jr., the suspect is quite aggressive when drunk and roams around and gets inside houses. Dagandan also clarified that the suspect and the victim have no history of conflict. “Labaron, aggressive lang ang suspect basta mahubog; wala toh sila’y alitan,” said the investigator. “Kung mahubog maglibot-libot, magsulod-sulod og mga balay,” he added.

The suspect remains at large, and the police is now waiting for the release of his warrant of arrest. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail May 20-26, 2024 issue)