‘Miriam son a suicide’
() - November 22, 2003 - 12:00am
The death Thursday night of Alexander Santiago, youngest son of former senator Miriam Defensor Santiago and former interior undersecretary Narciso Santiago Jr., has been ruled as a suicide, the Central Police District (CPD) said yesterday.

CPD director Chief Superintendent Napoleon Castro said the entire Santiago family was devastated by the death of the 26-year-old Alexander.

Alexander, fondly called Art, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the head, police said.

Castro said the former senator has been hysterical since Thursday night and that the family had to call doctors to have her sedated. "Art was the couple’s favorite son," Castro added.

Alexander locked himself inside his bedroom and shot himself with his father’s caliber .45 pistol while the rest of the Santiago family were having dinner.

According to case investigators, Alexander was admitted at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) at 7:50 p.m. for a head injury. However, he was declared dead on arrival by a certain Dr. Akia. His remains were released by the hospital at 1:40 a.m. yesterday.

Castro said the gun could be licensed, since the Santiago couple are avid gun enthusiasts and lawyers.

Quoting Mr. Santiago, Castro said the household members did not initially find Alexander’s seclusion unusual, since it was his habit to lock himself inside his room to study or read books.

"He was a bookworm and his classmates in Ateneo Law School regarded him as a very promising student," Castro said of Alexander. "He was a very bright law student."

Castro said it was Alexander’s elder brother, Archie, who sought assistance from the CPD shortly after Alexander was rushed to the EAMC.

Castro, a friend of the Santiago family, personally assisted them in transferring Alexander’s remains from the hospital to the Loyola Memorial Chapel in Guadalupe, Makati City for autopsy.

Alexander’s remains will lie at the Greenmeadows Chapel near Christ the King Church in Greenmeadows Subdivision, Quezon City.

Castro said investigators have not established why Alexander committed suicide. There was no mention of any suicide note as of press time.

He said probers are looking into the possibility that Alexander may have been broken-hearted or that his academic performance may have dropped.

"The family cannot understand why (he killed himself)," Castro said. "They are still upset and they don’t understand why this had to happen."

Close friends of the Santiago family describe Alexander as articulate but timid compared to his brother, who is more outgoing.

Of the Santiago family, only the former senator and Alexander had personal bodyguards.

Family members, relatives and Alexander’s classmates at the Ateneo de Manila were at the Loyola chapels in Makati City to support the Santiagos in their time of grief. — Christina Mendez, Katherine Adraneda

ALEXANDER ALEXANDER SANTIAGO ATENEO LAW SCHOOL CASTRO CENTRAL POLICE DISTRICT CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT NAPOLEON CASTRO CHRIST THE KING CHURCH FAMILY MAKATI CITY SANTIAGO
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