Rommel Andes, better known to his friends as “KC”, used to be a cheerful and carefree person. But in 2011, everything changed.
On March 23, 2011, KC attended a party at a friend’s house in Binangonan, Rizal.
“Nakita ko sila dun, may mga nag-iinuman na,” he said. “Masaya. Tawa kami nang tawa.”
It was past 2:00am when he and his other friend, Kenjie Cerda, left the party. They were walking home when a young man whom KC knew as “Macdo” called their attention and invited them to go with him. KC refused to go with him at first, but since he was already drunk, eventually agreed to go with Macdo and Kenjie.
They entered a field covered in tall grass. KC eventually fell asleep and only woke up after a couple of hours.
“Naalimpungatan ako,” he said. “Tumayo na ako kasi ang tagal. Hinanap ko sila (Kenjie and Macdo), tinawag ko ‘yung pangalan ng dalawa.”
A few seconds later, he saw Macdo. But there was no sign of Kenjie.
“Ang sabi niya, may nag-aya raw sa kanya sa tabi ng tulay, na may pumasok daw na isang lalaki,” KC said. “Pero hindi ako naniniwala dun kasi, tatlo lang kaming pumasok.”
At that moment, KC began to feel nervous while Macdo seemed to become more and more restless. A few minutes later, Macdo said he was going to buy a pack of cigarettes. But when he returned, instead of cigarettes, he was carrying a makeshift gun.
KC was shocked by what happened next.
“Pagtayo ko, tumayo rin siya, dun ako hinataw direkta sa mata. Direkta talaga ‘yun.” KC recalled. “Nag-black out na ‘yung mata ko nun, sabi ko, ‘Macdo, ‘di ko na kaya’.”
KC tried to run but Macdo chased him and hit him over and over again.
“Pagtakbo ko, dun ako dinerederetso,” he said. “Gumagapang ako nun. Habang gumagapang ako, sumusunod siya, hinahataw-hataw niya ako. ‘Dun ako nawalan ng malay. Paghataw niya sa ulo ko.”
Macdo then left KC for dead.
Tales of a survivor
“Nandun lang ako, nakahiga lang ako, pinasukan ko kasi ang makapal na damo,” KC recalled.
KC wanted to cry for help but he could barely stand up. A day passed. KC still could not bring himself to stand. However, when evening finally fell, he mustered the little energy he had left and pushed himself to get up and call for help.
“Nung [Marso] 24 ng gabi, doon ako naalimpungatan. Paggising ko, tumayo ako pero di ko kaya dahil ang daming dugo kong nawala at ‘yung ulo ko, umiikot pa,” he said. “Pero pinilit ko pa ring tumayo kahit ganoon itsura ko. Tumayo ako tapos lumabas ako.”
That night, Nestor Paghubasan was the Barangay Tanod on duty in Barangay Libis.
“Napuna ko siya na duguan, ‘yung kanyang amoy parang alak na amoy dugo, dumaan sa harap namin,” he said. “Dire-diretso siya umakyat ng bahay.”
They followed KC inside his house and were shocked by what they saw.
“Nakatagilid siya sa sahig. Pagsilay mong ganyan, talagang ‘yung mata niya, pisak talaga,” Nestor said. “Panay dugo, sama na ‘yung natuyong dugo. Amoy malansa na di mo ma-ano.”
They rushed KC to the hospital.
“Nagdasal talaga ako. Sabi ko, Lord, buhayin mo ako para sa ginawa sa akin ni Macdo para mapahuli ko naman siya,” KC said. “Akala ko katapusan ko na pero binigyan pa ako ng pagkakataon na mabuhay.”
|Tales of a survivor. KC Andres recalled the night he
was beaten almost to death.
Based on medical examination, KC suffered multiple lacerated wounds around his eyes. His CT scans showed that there was a possibility he also suffered subdural hematoma. But despite these serious injuries, KC survived.
In search of the suspect, the Libis barangay officials coordinated with Barangay Layunan. Immediately, Macdo was apprehended.
“Nung March 24, 2011, mahigit kumulang 11 ng gabi, dumating ang tatlong tanod na galnig Layunan,” SPO1 Pablo Medina Jr, former investigator of the Binangonan Philippine National Police (PNP), said. “Sila ay may dalang lalaki na ayon sa kanila ay suspek sa isang mauling incident.”
He was positively identified by KC. The authorities discovered that Macdo was only 17 years old.
But what happened to his friend, Kenjie?
|Suspect arrested. The authorities arrested Macdo whom
they discovered was only 17 years old.
While Macdo was undergoing custodial investigation, the authorities received a tip from a concerned citizen.
“May natagpuang patay na lalaki dun sa may Barangay Libis, Binangonan, Rizal,” SPO1 Medina said.
The authorities immediately proceeded to the crime scene and inspected the victim.
“Halos ang mukha ng biktima ay natalupan ng kanyong noo na parang kinayod ng matulis na bagay at puro siya tadtad ng saksak sa harapan at likuran,” SPO1 Medina recalled. “Ang kanyang braso ay may sugat na may dinrawingan pa ng ari.”
The victim was identified as 22-year-old Kenjie Cerda.
Kenjie’s mother was devastated.
“Maga na ‘yung mukha niya tapos parang tinalupan na ‘yun noo. Tapos pisak ‘yung mata,” Raquel Cerda recalled. “Masakit ‘yun kasi ilang taon mo rin siyang inalagaan bigla lang na walang kaabog-abog, ‘di bale sanang masamang tao ‘yung anak ko.”
KC, who at that time was still in the hospital, felt more energy drain from his body.
“Inaasahan ko na parang may nangyari sa kanyang di maganda,” he said. “Ayun na pala, may nangyari na pala. Pinatay na pala.”
|The crime scene.
During the investigation, Macdo eventually confessed to his crimes.
“Umamin siya na i-binooking ni Kenjie at nang magkaroon sila ng pag-uusap na wala siyang maibayad, dun nagalit si Macdo,” SPO1 Medina said. “Pinagsasaksak niya si Kenjie at pagkatapos sigurong mapatay si Kenjie, sinunod niya si Rommel Calubay na akala rin niya napatay niya dahil natumba sila, pareho walang malay. ‘Di umalis na siya.”
Based on a background check they conducted, Macdo appeared to have a reputation as a troublemaker.
“Si Macdo ay troublemaker sa kanilang lugar,” SPO1 Medina said. “Siya ay ‘pag nakainom ay nagtitrip siya, talagang kinukursonada niya ang mga bakla.”
Macdo was then charged with murder and frustrated murder. But since he was a minor when the crime was committed, he was transferred to the rehabilitation facility of the National Training School for Boys in Tanay, Rizal.
Unfortunately, on December 2011, nine months after he was detained, Macdo escaped from the facility. To date, he remains at large.
Kenjie’s friends, meanwhile, continue to hope that Macdo will again be captured and justice will finally be served.
“Gusto kong mabigyan ng katarungan ‘yung pagkamatay ng anak ko,” Raquel said. “Sana Macdo, ‘wag ka nang magtago. Harapin mo na lang ang kasalanan mo total inamin mo na rin na ikaw ang pumatay sa anak ko. Hindi naman habang panahon magtatago ka.”
“Ipinagdadasal ko na mahuli siya,” KC said. Kung sino man ang nakakakita sa kanya, sana ‘wag nang itago.”
KC said he believes he was given a second life for a reason. And that is to make sure that his friend Kenjie gets the justice he deserves.
“Huling hininga niya rin, pinasa niya sa akin para mabuhay ako,” KC said. “Para mabigyang katarungan ‘yung pagkamatay niya.”
|Justice for Kenjie.
May 4, 2012