Manuel and Angelita Perez were the exact opposite of in love. Ever since they got married in 2008, they’ve been fighting non-stop. Angelita’s mother, Lola Gregoria, was a witness to this.
“Madalas silang magkagalit dahil lahat ng tao dito pinagseselosan naman nitong lalaki,” Lola Gregoria says. “Lagi kong inaawat ‘yan ‘pag nagkakagalit. Sasaksakin pa nga ang anak ko niyan.”
Because of their rocky marriage, Angelita decided to go abroad to work. After Angelita left, Lola Gregoria thought they would finally have some peace. Instead, the situation worsened. Manuel would always go home drunk. Worse, he became a womanizer.
At one point, Manuel even abandoned their three children and lived with his mistress whose house was just in the neighborhood. Lola Gregoria was left to take care of her grandchildren. She then decided to tell her daughter Angelita what was happening. But the latter opted to believe her husband.
Little did they know that Manuel’s infidelity would lead to their daughter’s gruesome fate.
In the afternoon of May 20, 2010, their daughter, six-year-old Alyssa, suddenly disappeared. Lola Gregoria didn’t hear a word from her all day. Oddly enough, Manuel was also nowhere to be found. Lola Gregoria suspected that her son-in-law was with his mistress.
So the next day, Lola Gregoria decided to enlist the help of the barangay officials of Brgy. Bulac, Sta. Maria, Bulacan.
During their search, one of the neighbours whom we shall call “Mila” told them that she heard a little girl crying inside the house of one Lilia Dino. Lilia was Manuel’s mistress.
Immediately, the barangay officials went to Lilia’s house to inspect. But there were no traces of Alyssa. Lilia even lashed out at the barangay officials for intruding her home.
Lola Gregoria continued her search. The next day, one of her neighbours finally found Alyssa. Dead.
Sacked and stabbed
Alyssa was found in a vacant lot just within the neighborhood. The six year old was wrapped in a plastic and slid inside a sack. The foul stench wafted in the air.
The Sta. Maria police immediately responded to the crime scene. When they extracted the Alyssa’s body from the sack, they discovered that the six-year-old was naked and covered with stab wounds in the chest and in the stomach.
The crime scene. Six-year-old Alyssa’s body was found wrapped in a plastic and slid inside a sack.
“Nawalan ako ng malay,” Lola Gregoria says. “Napakasakit. Sobra-sobrang sakit, galit, at pagkaawa sa aking apo.”
Lola Gregoria had no choice but to tell her daughter the devastating news. Angelita, who was in Qatar at that time, wanted to go home right away. But her employer wouldn’t let her. Through a phone patch interview, ABS-CBN was able to interview Angelita.
“Para akong namatay,” Angelita says. “Hindi ako makatrabaho, iyak ako ng iyak. Hindi naman ako makauwi dahil wala pa akong one year. Napakasakit. Walang kasing sakit.”
Based on post-mortem examination, the Alyssa suffered 16 stab wounds to the chest and to the stomach. But there was no indication that the six-year-old was raped.
What was then the motive behind the murder?
The victim. Who killed six-year-old Alyssa Perez?
A father’s revelation
Several days after Alyssa was found, her father Manuel finally surfaced. At first he was mad. And then after a few moments, he finally revealed what he knew about the murder.
According to Manuel, his daughter was killed by none other than his mistress, Lilia. “Sinabi na nung manugang ko na talagang pinagbabantaan yung mga anak niya,” Lola Gregoria says. “Hindi lang sinasabi sa akin komo kami eh wala nang ugnayan.”
“Nung nakausao naming ‘yung ama nung bata na si Manuel alyas Kulot, ang sabi niya sa aming, nagkaroon siya ng relasyon ni alyas Mommy at sabi niya sa’min, pilit na siyang nakikipaghiwalay o nakikipag-break,” on-case investigator Po3 Ernesto Janapin says. “Hindi raw matanggap nung Mommy na humiwalay si Manuel at nagbanta nga ito sa kanya na may mangyayari sa mga anak mo.”
Manuel filed a sworn affidavit. But since his testimony wasn’t enough to file a case against Lilia, the authorities went back to her place to gather more evidence.
That’s when they discovered an incriminating blood trail inside Lilia’s store.
A father’s confession. Manuel Perez confessed that his mistress, Lilia Dino, threatened to kill his children.
“Pagpasok pa lang dun sa pintuan, meron ng dugo sa loob,” PO3 Janapin says. “Pumasok sa amin na dun mismo ginawa yung krimen sa loob ng tindahan. Mula sa tindahan hanggang sa pinagtapunan o sa basurahan, mga sampung metro.”
Aside from this, several witnesses surfaced to corroborate the authorities’ theories. One of them was their neighbour whom we shall call “Pablo”. According to Pablo, on the day Alyssa went missing, Lilia confided in him. Lilia was asking if there was another woman in Manuel’s life.
Even Lilia’s own sister testified against her. “Sabi niya, nung gabing mangyari yun, hindi mapakali ‘yung kapatid niya na at pilit na pinapasunog ‘yung basuharan sa di kalayuan sa kanila,” PO3 Janapin says. “Tumanggi siya kasi di nga naman tuyong mga dahon bakit pinapasunog tsaka disoras ng gabi.”
In the middle of the investigation, Manuel received a phone call. It was Lilia. And she was threatening him that she’ll kill his other children. “Lalong nabuo ang [hinala] naming na siya talaga ang may gawa,” PO3 Janapin says. “Ang pinaka ano niya dun, paghihiganti kay Manuel.”
The authorities tried to call the number but Lilia could not be contacted anymore.
After piecing together all the evidences, Lilia Dino alyas “Mommy” was charged with murder and a warrant of arrest was issued by the Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 17.
Up to date, Lilia remains at large.
Wanted. Up to date, Lilia Dino remains at large.
For Alyssa’s bereaved family, while it was Lilia who murdered Alyssa, Manuel is equally responsible because if it wasn’t for his infidelity, this would never have happened.
“Nang malibing ang bangkay ng anak ko, kasama nang nalibing ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya,” Angelita says. “Napakasakit para sa inang katulod ko na mawala sa aking anak tapos ‘yan pa ang igaganti ng asawa ko sa akin sa kabila ng paghihirap at pagtitiis ko.”
“Huwag nang magpakita sa akin ‘yung manugang ko dahil ako’ya sobrang galit,” Lola Gregoria says. “Kung hindi ba siya nagkaganon na sobrang takaw niya sa laman at nakipagtulungan siya sa asawa niya sa paghahanapbuhay, magkakaganun ba ‘yung anak niya?”
One year after the murder, Alyssa’s family continue to grieve for their beloved daughter. And they vow to never stop until Lilia is behind bars and justice is served.