Man kills family, helper, then self
- Ria Mae Y. Booc () - October 17, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A retired seaman killed his wife, three of their children and their helper before turning the gun on himself yesterday morning in Tabunok, Talisay City.

The massacre took place in Palm View Village, in an interior portion of Barangay Tabunok in the southern city.

Emmanuel Ponce, 55, reportedly shot his wife, Melinda, 53, dead using a caliber .45 pistol. 

The couple reportedly had an argument in their house after Melinda arrived from a sportfest.

Melinda, a runner, who has topped her age group in two recent ultra marathons in Cebu, was the branch manager of Banco de Oro Taboan branch.

The other fatalities were identified as their daughters Elaine Grace, 26, and Heather Joy, 25 and son Emlin, 18.

The youngest child, a 14-year-old daughter, was spared as she was told by her father to go out of the house.

Also killed was their helper Anastacia Deniega, 30, a resident of Barangay San Isidro of the same city.

Melinda was shot on the head in their dining room. Deniega, who was shot on the left side of her chest, also died at the dining room and police believe that she was shot after Melinda.

Heather Joy, a radiologic technologist, was found at the living room also with a gunshot wound on the head. She was with her brother, Emlin, who is a nursing student. Emlin also succumbed to a gunshot wound on the head.

Elaine Grace, a call center agent, was found on her bed also with a gunshot wound on the head.

She was still alive when the Talisay Rescue Emergency Action Team reached their house and was rushed to the Talisay City District Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Elaine was a nurse.

Emmanuel was found dead at their dining room where he shot himself on the head.

Neighbors said that the couple has long been having problems with their marriage after Emmanuel lost his job as a seafarer about ten years ago.

The remains of all those who died have been brought to the St. Peter Chapel along Imus Ave., Cebu City for autopsy.

The pistol was brought to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory for ballistic examination.

It wasn’t known yet as of press time if the gun was licensed. The police said that they will check with the Firearms Explosives Security Service Agency and Guards Supervisory.

Investigation

Insp. Ricardo Echavez, chief investigator of the Talisay City Police, said that they received a telephone call from Ritchel Bacaltos, the Talisay City Administrator and who is a neighbor of the family, informing them of a shooting incident about 8:24 in the morning.

Echavez said that PO1 Jude Enemecio and PO1 Jovie Antipolo, who primarily responded the incident, heard gunfire from inside the house, which prompted them to call for back-up.

When the team of SPO1 Mikee Espina arrived, the police saw the youngest child crying and was being comforted by neighbors.

Espina said that the front door of the house was locked and windows were closed and they had to break the door on the left side of the house to enter and were greeted by the sight of the fatalities.

The pistol was still in the hand of Emmanuel when it was recovered by the police. Two live ammunition, seven empty shells, three slugs, and a metal fragment were also recovered at the crime scene.

The police said that Melinda, who just got home after taking part in a running activity, which was part of their company sports festival, was eating when she argued with her husband.

“Namainit tingali ni kay didto pa ma’y bingka sa lamesa,” Espina said.

However, nobody really knew how the others were killed because none of their neighbors noticed a commotion and what they heard were only bursts of gunfire.

Confession

 According to lone survivor of the massacre, Echavez said, she woke up from her sleep after hearing several gunshots inside their house.

She said that she ran out of her room and saw Heather lying on the living room while her brother Emlin was kneeling before their father.

At the dining area she saw Deniega and her mother, whom she failed to recognize at that time.

She added that her father was sitting on a chair and told her, “gawas didto day kay ikaw ra’y mabuhi, magpakamatay ko, pagtawag og pulis.”

At this juncture, she ran outside their house and heard a last gunfire.

Marathoner

The Sports and Fitness Enthusiasts (SAFE) led by Joel Baring is planning to hold a run in memory of the tragic death of ultra-marathoner, Melinda.

She was described as a ‘late bloomer’ in the sport of running. She bagged the front Runner Magazine’s Warrior 50 Ultra-marathon this year. She joined the first ultra-marathon last year and became second to a foreign entry in this year’s 65 kilometers ultra-marathon. — /NLQ (THE FREEMAN)

ANASTACIA DENIEGA BARANGAY SAN ISIDRO BARANGAY TABUNOK CEBU CITY CITY ELAINE GRACE EMLIN EMMANUEL HEATHER JOY HOUSE MELINDA
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