MANILA (Sun, Feb 17)—What kind of mother would kill her child?
That’s the question gnawing at many people’s psyche, following reports that Claire Rose Ann Serenio, 27, had tortured and killed her 3-year-old son in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Sur.
This comes in the heels of another case in the same province where a mother had beaten to death her son, for allegedly not owning up to his sin of stealing one peso (Dh0.09) from her pocket.
Serenio, a resident of Tukuran town, at first lied to the police, telling them that her son was killed in a vehicular accident. But initial investigation proved otherwise.
“It’s just incomprehensible—how these mothers could kill their children,” said one radio commentator. “What were they thinking?”
Senior Superintendent Thomas Abellar, provincial director of the Philippine National Police in Zamboanga del Sur, said authorities are preparing charges of murder against Serenio while waiting for autopsy results.
Police reports said the victim and his older brother had been living with their father, who is separated from their mother. The latter, however, fetched the children weeks ago, as she had wanted to take care of them for a while.
The older son told the police that his mother punished him and his younger brother—making them kneel on grains of salt for hours, for instance—even for the minutest of mistakes, such as not washing their hands before eating, they committed.
He also told authorities that he was not in the house when her mother killed his younger brother, as he had escaped and went to his father for help.
Last month, Vince Remasog Dingal, 8, died of severe beating he received from his mother, in the same province’s Dumalinao town, who had accused him of stealing money from her.
The boy sustained wounds, contusions, and concussions all over his head and body as a result of beating using a piece of hardwood, police reports had said.
In the city of Zamboanga, meanwhile, a consultant at the Department of Education Regional Office IX died in hospital after unidentified, motorcycle-riding gunmen shot him last week in Barangay Dao, Pagadian City.
Police reports indicated that Ariel Huesca, who hailed from Barangay Cabatangan, Zamboanga City, but lived in the neighbouring Pagadian City in connection with his work, spent a week fighting for his life in the hospital before succumbing to his gunshot wounds.
The case is still under investigation, as the motive of the killing is unknown. Police said that Huesca was standing on a street near his house while waiting for his friend, a teacher, when the gunmen shot him before speeding off.
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