Village massacre: Couple, 2 kids slain

NAGA CITY, Philippines - A couple and their two children were found dead early yesterday, apparently victims of a massacre in a village in the town of Pio Corpuz in Masbate.

The bloodied bodies of Jimmy Dublin, 35; his wife Helena, 33; and their sons Jason, 13, and Gerald, 9, were found inside their residence with hack wounds, said Senior Insp. Rodel Areval, officer in charge of the Philippine National Police Pio V. Corpuz, in a phone interview.

Arevalo said one of the children, Genelyn, 11, who survived to tell the horror, was able to escape from the carnage with her 11-month-old brother.

He quoted Genelyn as telling police that a a bolo-wielding man barged into their house and started the rampage shortly before midnight on Thursday.

Policemen found Helena dead outside the house while Jimmy and the two children were recovered bloodied inside.

Police identified the suspect as a certain Bonifacio Lalican. He remains at large. The motive for the killings is undetermined.

Pio V. Corpuz is about 90 kilometers south of Masbate City, the provincial capital of Masbate.

The massacre followed a spate of killings of candidates in the province, considered as one of the country's most violent.

The series of political killings of candidates, members of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), has alarmed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and NPC's national leaders.

On Tuesday, the Comelec said it may put the entire island-province under its control in the aftermath of the killings over the weekend.

The NPC, in a statement, said the killings were obviously political in nature and are alarming.

Election officials in the province said they are to meet with police and Special Task Force Masbate to assess the need to put the province under the Comelec's control.

According to Comelec officials in the province, the election body did not want to place any area in the Bicol region under the Comelec's control because it would require the use of additional manpower and resources.

But the murders last Saturday of Isagani Lupango, candidate for vice mayor of Mobo town, and on Sunday of Ladislao Macuja, candidate for councilor in Balud town, "affected the Comelec predisposition," said lawyer Noriel Badiola, Masbate election supervisor.

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