Boy, 7, left to die in fire
Sandy Araneta, Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A couple was arrested for allegedly chaining a seven-year-old boy to a post and leaving him to die when a fire gutted their house in Las Piñas City before dawn yesterday.

City police chief Senior Superintendent Romulo Sapitula told The STAR, they have taken into custody Bernardo Ocomen, 37; and his partner, Annalou Satur, 23, for investigation for the death of Angelo Malbas. The boy is Malou’s son.

He said the boy’s body was recovered by firefighters after an hour-long fire that gutted two houses in the compound along Guadalupe street in Fatima Subdivision at around 1:30 a.m.

“Firemen reported to the police that a victim was recovered with a chain on the right leg that was the basis for the arrest of the suspects,” Sapitula said.

He added that police officers are investigating the boy’s death while the Bureau of Fire Protection is conducting a separate probe for arson.

Investigators said Ocomen reportedly chained Malbas for being unruly and to prevent him from leaving the house. When the fire broke out, Okomen and Satur allegedly left the house with two other children without releasing Malbas. ABS-CBN reported that the boy was mentally ill and blind.

Sapitula said they will charge Satur with murder and Malou with parricide.

2 kids killed as blaze destroys padlocked home

Meanwhile, two other children died when they were trapped in a padlocked shanty in Baseco Compound in Port Area while their father and eldest brother were selling garlic in Divisoria at past midnight yesterday.

Arson investigator Fire Officer 1 Louie Ebio said the charred bodies of Raymond Cualbar Jr., seven, and his sister, four-year-old Roselyn, were found in the burned shanty after the fire, which started at around 1:30 a.m., was put out around 30 minutes later.

The victims’ father, Raymond Sr., 34, said he, his 10-year-old son Jeremy and partner Rosalie Avorque, 36, had left their home to deliver sacks of peeled garlic. He blamed himself for leaving his children at home, which he had padlocked.

Raymond Sr. said he wondered why a fire broke out at their house since he did not leave any lit candle or mosquito coil unattended. Investigators suspect the fire may have been caused by faulty wiring since a fluorescent lamp and an electric fan were on when they left the house.

The Manila Fire Bureau, on the other hand, said its firefighters did not respond to the fire since by the time they found out, the blaze had been put out by volunteer firefighters and the victims’ neighbors.

The volunteer firefighters requested the presence of arson investigators since two children died, the bureau said.

 

ANGELO MALBAS ANNALOU SATUR BASECO COMPOUND BERNARDO OCOMEN BUREAU OF FIRE PROTECTION FATIMA SUBDIVISION FIRE FIRE OFFICER LAS PI LOUIE EBIO RAYMOND SR.
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