MANILA, Philippines - Did the dead speak at the Makati City police headquarters?
An investigator was interviewing a witness in connection with the killing of a 22-year-old man in Makati on Tuesday when the victim's mother, who was also in the room, suddenly rose from her seat and began talking strangely as though "possessed" by her son's spirit.
"They ganged up on me! They shot me here (pointing to her ear) and in my stomach! (Pinagtulungan nila ako! Binaril nila ako dito at sa tiyan!)," said Lourdes Lim, who showed up at the police station six hours after the body of her son Robert was fished out of a creek.
The officers and staff members were surprised by Lim's outburst, which had her speaking in the first person and in a tone very different from her normal speaking voice to describe what supposedly happened to her son on Magnolia Street, Barangay (village) Rizal, around 5 a.m. Tuesday. The Inquirer was also present during the interrupted interview.
The case investigator, PO3 Arnel Noriega, said he initially thought that the victim's mother was talking nonsense but started paying attention when Lim mentioned how and where her son was shot.
According to Noriega, the 53-year-old housewife had yet to see her dead son at that time since the body was still being kept at a funeral parlour.
"Even us (investigators) had yet to know exactly where the gunshot wounds were since the body was still in the custody of the Soco (scene of the crime operatives) team," he noted.
Still in her distraught state, Lim said "I was invited" by the group of a certain Pilantik-an alleged drug dealer in the community-to a meeting at a house on Magnolia Street but that they "were actually planning to kill me."
The woman then calmed down for a few minutes before blurting out: "The law? Who's going to believe in the law? Let's get out of here! There's nothing for us here!"
It was at this point that Noriega and the other investigators decided to move Lim to another room, where she fell asleep after being pacified.
According to the witness whose interview was interrupted by Lim's outburst, the man known as Pilantik was indeed seen fleeing in a motorcycle from the area where Robert's body was found.
Pilantik, now considered a prime suspect in the killing, was sighted after another resident was heard shouting that Robert had been shot and thrown into the creek, the witness added.