“’Yong panganay ko, duguan na siya, halos di na makasalita. Nag-iiyak na ‘ko,” Mary Joy Bulutano says as she recalls one of the darkest days of her life.
It was one o’ clock in the morning of December 6, 2009 when she rushed to Medicare hospital from work after a barangay official from Barangay Calimag, General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite told her that something happened to her daughters. True enough, when they reached the hospital, she saw her daughters Honey Joy, 16 years old, and Mary Angel, 11 years old, all covered while being treated by the doctors.
“Nagdadasal ako sa Diyos na sana iligtas niya ‘yong mga anak ko,” she says. Both of the victims were in critical condition by then and had to be transferred to a bigger hospital. But after a few minutes, Honey Joy was declared dead.
“Parang nawala na ‘ko sa sarili,” Mary Joy says. “Parang nawalan ako ng isang pakpak na alam ko siya na ang makakatulong sa’kin sa buhay, nawala pa.”
Based on autopsy results, Honey Joy died of cardio-respiratory arrest caused by the 13 stab wounds she sustained on different parts of her body.
Miraculously, her other daughter, Mary Angel, survived despite having suffered nine stab wounds. With the little energy she had, Mary Angel was able to tell her mother who stabbed her and her sister. “Sabi niya ‘Si Bulik’,” Mary Joy says.
Who is Bulik? And why did he stab the Bulutano sisters?
The victim. 17-year-old Honey Joy Bulutano died after sustaining 18 stab wounds on different parts of her body.
The sister’s tale
According to Mary Angel, she and her sister were both fast asleep when she was awakened by a movement inside their room. “Naalimpungatan ako kasi po inaapakan ‘yong paa ko,” she says. “Paggising ko po, nagulat lang po ako kasi bigla po akong binatukan.”
Mary Angel stumbled. And when she finally regained her balance, she was horrified by what she saw—her sister being stabbed repeatedly by a man whom they know as Bulik. “Tinadyakan ko po siya,” she recalls. “’Pag tadyak ko po sa kanya ng tatlong beses, natumba po siya.”
Thinking that Bulik was already unconscious, she tried to prop her sister up so they can escape. “Noong nakita ko po ‘yong itsura niya, doon po ako napaiyak kasi puro dugo na po tapos, butas na po ‘yong pantalon niya,” Mary Angel remembers. “Lumingon sa’kin si Ate, tumakbo na raw po ako. Sabi ko ‘Ate, hindi ako tatakbo, hindi kita pababayaan’.”
Reenactment. According to Mary Angel, her sister was stabbed by the suspect repeatedly.
Then suddenly, as Mary Angel recalls, Bulik stood up and diverted his rage towards her. He stabbed Mary Angel repeatedly. And when he was done, Mary Angel remembers, he brought his attention back to Honey Joy. At that point, Mary Angel began screaming for help. When she did, Bulik fled from their house.
An unforgotten nightmare. Mary Angel recalls the horror she and her sister suffered the night Bulik entered their home and stabbed them both repeatedly.
After talking to Mary Angel, the authorities also spoke with their neighbors. One of them was Noli Mabaga.
According to Noli, he was drinking with his friends when he saw Bulik jump over from the window of the Bulutanos’ house around midnight. And then he heard the screams.
With Mary Angel’s account and Noli’s testminony, Bulik became the primary suspect. But what could possibly have been his motive to commit such a gruesome crime?
A bloody obsession
The authorities conducted a background check and discovered that Bulik’s real name was Anthony Leauterio. He was 29 years old. He lived in Barangay Calimag and was a resident bum.
According to Mary Angel, Bulik liked her sister Honey Joy. But since the latter wasn’t fond of boys, she didn’t pay any attention to Bulik. The authorities deduced that Bulik’s obsession was the motive behind the stabbing. “Gusto niyang gahasain [si Honey Joy] kasi ‘yong damit parang gusting hubarin,” Investigator-on-case SPO2 Jenifer Cabigan tells ABS-CBN SOCO.
The authorities immediately conducted a manhunt. They went to his house but it was empty.
Finally, on December 7, 2009, the authorities received information that Bulik was hiding out in Barangay Malaking Pulo in Tanauan, Batangas. They apprehended him and brought him to the GMA Cavite Police headquarters where, eventually, he admitted to committing the crime.
“Lasing lang ako noon,” Bulik says. “Napatay ko dahil mainit ang ulo ko noon eh.”
Confessions of a killer. After being apprehended, the suspect, Anthony Leauterio a.k.a. Bulik, confessed to stabbing the Bulutano sisters.
Bulik was then charged with attempted rape with homicide and frustrated murder. Currently, he is detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology detention facility in GMA, Cavite.
Justice for Honey Joy
More than one year later, scars are all that’s left of the stabs Mary Angel suffered from Bulik’s attack. And while she believes these scars will one day fade, Mary Angel knows that it will take long before the pain of losing her sister heals. For her, redemption would only come if Bulik is finally sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“Gusto ko po doon siya tumanda,” she says. “’Yong ginawa niya sa’min kailangan niyang pagbayaran.” And Mary Angel vows to never stop fighting until justice for her sister is finally served.
The fight for justice. Mary Angel vows to never stop until justice for her sister Honey Joy is served and her killed finally confined behind bars for the rest of his life.