It was in the middle of the night of April 21, 1993 when Lourdes Mutuc woke up to loud noises coming the second floor of their house. “Iba ‘yong mararamdaman mo na parang may nagkakagulo,” she recalls. “Wala akong naisip na pwedeng mag-away-away na ganun dahil wala namang pwedeng mag-away sa mga kapatid ko na ganon. Ang naisip ko, baka may nangyayaring iba.”
Lourdes’s husband, Alfie, decided to check what was happening. And when he reached the second floor, he was shocked by what he saw - his brother-in-law, Danilo, bathing in his own blood. Danilo was still alive. Alfie rushed down and told Lourdes to gather their children and hide.
“Nanginginig talaga ang buong katawan ko dahil siyempre, maiisip mo na puwedeng-puwede kaming babain din, puwede na kaming pagpapatayin,” Lourdes says. But instead of hiding right away, Lourdes decided to go up and see for herself what happened. She was also worried about her parents who were sleeping on the second floor.
When she reached the landing, that’s when she saw the perpetrators. In fright, she hurried back downstairs.
Alfie then decided to go outside and look for help. But when he went out the door, there were men outside who chased him. So he rushed back inside. Fearing that the men outside and those on the second floor would close in on them soon, Lourdes grabbed their emergency light, placed it by the window, and opened the siren. After a few minutes, one of their neighbors yelled.
The men have left their house.
The Cainta Police immediately responded to Mutuc’s residence. When the authorities went up to the second floor, the first person they saw was an old woman who was identified as Regina Alvarado, Lourdes’s grandmother. Both she and Danilo were still alive and was rushed to the hospital.
But the other victims weren’t as fortunate.
The authorities found a body on the terrace whom they identified as Edwina Mutuc, Lourdes’s mother. Beside Edwina was her son-in-law, Eric Cabral, whose hands were tied and eyes blindfolded.
“We have to take into consideration na lalaki si Eric, 24 years old, so we can surmise na siguro medyo abled body ito,” medico-legal officer PCI Benjamin Lara, MD says. “Baka siya ‘yong may potential na lumaban and so iyon ang isang possibility kung bakit of all the victims, siya ‘yong itinali at siya ‘yong nakapiring ‘yong mga mata.”
Eric’s wife, Jocelyn Mutuc-Cabral, was also dead. She was five months pregnant at that time.
Inside the bathroom, the authorities found another victim - Maritess Gorordo, a cousin of the Mutucs.
Based on autopsy results, it was Maritess who sustained the most number of stab wounds - 26.
|Bloodbath. On April 21, 1993, four people were massacred inside the Mutuc’s residence.
Recounting the nightmare
Upon search of the house, the authorities found several fingerprints which they immediately sent to the crime laboratory.
It was also fortunate that Lourdes saw the faces of the perpetrator. She identified two of them as one Police Officer 2 (PO2) Eleazar Perez and Ike De Leon. She knew them because both were friends of the Mutuc family.
This was corroborated by Edwin and Danilo who were able to give their statements after their condition finally stabilized.
18 years later, Danilo would still remember that horrible night. According to Danilo, he went home that evening and found Eleazar and Ike inside their home. They even chatted for a while before Danilo went to sleep.
“Nagulat na lang ako na may nakaupo na sa katawan ko,” he says. “Tapos ganun na ‘ko ng ganun, salag na ako ng salag. May mga tama na ‘ko ng saksak.” According to Danilo, Eleazar didn’t stop until he lost consciousness.
But what could have possibly pushed Eleazar to murder the Mutucs?
According to Lourdes, Eleazar was very close to the family because he was once in a relationship with her sister, Elizabeth.
“Ang lola ko, nakahilig pa sa kanya,” Lourdes recalls. “Malambing siya sa lola ko kaya hindi mo aakalaing gagawa siya ng ganoon.”
|Closely-knit.The suspect (R) with the Mutuc family.
But then Elizabeth decided to go and work in Japan. That’s when things began to get sour. In a phone patch interview with Magandang Gabi Bayan in 1994, Elizabeth said that when she left for Japan, Eleazar threatened her family.
“Ang sabi ko sa kanya, maghintay muna siya,” she said. “Meron lang akong pangarap. Gusto ko muna bigyan muna si Mommy ng pera. Sabi niya, di mo pa ako kilala. Humanda ka. Papatayin niya daw po ako. Kung hindi man daw po ako mapatay, may pamilya daw po ako.”
No one took him seriously.
Until that fateful night of April 21, 1993 when he carried out his viscious threats.
The long wait for justice
The Mutuc family filed a multiple murder and double frustrated murder case against PO3 Eleazar and Ike de Leon.
Unfortunately, the case took on a sour course. Based on the Cainta Police investigation, it turns out that Ike wasn’t the one who was with Eleazer during the night of the murders. The fingerprints gathered from the crime scene pointed to a one Darwin delos Santos.
They traced Darwin’s whereabouts and located him in Cebu. “Hindi nagtagal, nabalitaan namin na nahuli siya sa Cebu,” Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4) Theodore Cadaweng (Ret) says. “Pinuntahan noong hepe namin, hindi naman inabutan. Inabutan nila, patay na.”
But before Darwin died, he was able to give an extrajudicial confession admitting that he was with PO2 Perez during the night of the murders.
But the Mutuc family insisted that it was Ike who carried out the crime with Eleazar.
Ike was found guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment. But after 11 years, Ike was absolved and was released.
Eleazer, meanwhile, remains at large.
|Suspect on the loose. More than a decade after the murders, suspect Eleazar Pereze still remains at large.
“Talagang masakit,” Danilo says. “Minsan, iiyak ka na lang, mapapaluha ka na lang ‘pag minsan naalala mo.”
And eventhough almost two decades have passed, the scars of the Mutuc family will never heal until Eleazar is behind bars.