MANILA — A vendor in Manila had thought she hit a jackpot when she found a ‘balikbayan’ box lying unattended under the MacArthur Bridge, in the city’s Ermita district.
But when she opened it she saw a severed foot belonging to a man, and so she called the police to investigate.
An alleged witness, Zenaida Benjamin, reportedly told Special Officer 3 Rodel Benitez, of the Manila Police District-Homicide Section, that she saw two motorcycle-riding men dump the box under the bridge on March 16.
More recent reports said that a certain Jocelyn Rabat, 30, was even more shocked than the vendor when she discovered that the balikbayan box actually contained the chopped body parts of her live-in partner, Angelito Bello.
Balikbayan boxes are brown cartons used by overseas Filipino workers (OFW) to send goods to their loved ones back in the Philippines. Balikbayan is Filipino for a returning OFW.
Benitez said that he and his team saw Bello’s other body parts in the box when they inspected it further after the vendor saw the severed foot.
He added that Bello, besides being a member of the Batang City Jail, also belonged to a dreaded holdup gang operating around downtown Manila.
Batang City Jail is a grouping or a moniker ascribed to juvenile delinquents, whether imprisoned or were already freed after serving their term.
Rabat said that Bello, who sustained four gunshot wounds in the different parts of his body, may have been jailed at one time, but swore that her lover was already a changed man long before his death.