Sun, Dec 28, 2008
The New Paper
S'porean stabbed to death in Manila home


HE had multiple stab wounds, some as deep as 15cm, but the reason for the vicious attack that killed a Singaporean businessman in Manila remains a mystery.

Mr Bathmanathan, 52, who is also known as Sam Nathan, was found dead in his Manila apartment at about1amon Tuesday.

He had been working in the Philippines, selling teak wood furniture, for over 20 years.

He also owns and runs a pub.

Officer Dave Tuazon of the Manila police homicide department said investigations were ongoing.

Mr Nathan's two sons flew to Manila after being told of the tragedy.

The elder brother, who declined to be named, told The New Paper over the phone on Wednesday: "Nothing much has been told to us except that it's a murder case.

"They don't know the motive. There was no robbery, nothing was missing from the apartment and there were no signs of forced entry.

"The security guard saw two people entering the apartment but their identities are unknown," said the son,whois in his 30s and does media editing.

His father's secretary identified the body, which had stab wounds all over.

"I've no idea how many wounds there were. I saw pictures of the body, there were at least a dozen. The wounds were very deep, the knife blade would have been about six inches (15cm) long," said the son,who found out about the tragedy from his father's girlfriend.

He last spoke to his father just three hours before he was found dead.

"My dad wanted to buy replacement mirrors for his car and was asking me to look into it. We talk every other day.

"Although he was busy with his work in Manila, we were close. He was always just a phone call away."

Mr Nathan visited Singapore last week to settle some property investment matters. He was buying the five-room flat his elder son has been living in.

The son described his father as a "very jovial guy".

What about reports that said that his father could have offended someone and was killed for revenge?

"I can't comment until I know who did it and why. A person may not be tolerant and could snap, it's hard to say," he said.

Shin Min Daily News quoted Mr Nathan's friend, who gave his name as Mr Huang, as saying that the victim was facing some financial problems, but that was news to his son.

"As far as I know, he was doing quite well.

If he had any debts, it would have been for his business, which is a normal thing.

"His pub was quite popular and he had a multi-million-peso furniture business," he said.

His parents divorced when he was a child and they didn't keep in touch. Nevertheless, his mother was shaken by news of his father's murder.

Long-time resident

As Mr Nathan had been living in Manila for many years, his wake will be held there until this weekend when his body will be flown back to Singapore and cremated on Sunday.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said: "MFA and our embassy in Manila are providing the necessary consular assistance to the family."

Mr Nathan married a Filipina in her 20s several years ago but they divorced two years ago.

Mr Nathan was quite influential as he was friends with the mayor of Manila, his son said.

"My father knew a lot of people, including members of President Gloria Arroyo's family and mayors of various cities. I have met a couple of them here who came to offer condolences."

He added: "The person I'm concerned about is my grandmother. She's old and her health is not good.

"She thinks my dad had a heart attack. For now, we don't want her to find out what happened."


This article was first published in The New Paper on Dec 26, 2008.

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