BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
“He was uneasy, sweating, trembling and kept wiping his lips and had a dry throat while being interrogated,” was how P/Major Joery Puerto, Police Station 8 chief, described the suspect in the massacre of four family members in Gardenville Subdivision, Brgy. Tangub, Bacolod City.
Puerto said this is a strong manifestation that Christian Tulot, 39, of Brgy. Malaambang in Concepcion town, Iloilo, is currently on a withdrawal stage from the effects of illegal drug use.
He said this is also probably the reason why Tulot, who tested positive for illegal drug use, based on a crime lab result released yesterday, kept on changing his statements on how and who really killed Jocelyn Nombre, 59, her sister Gemma Espinosa, 69, her son John Michael, 35, and his 6-year-old daughter.
Earlier Thursday, Tulot said he witnessed the killing and tagged an “alias Bro” and his uncle, Joel Espinosa, the brother of Jocelyn and Gemma, as the ones responsible for the crime.
He claimed that “alias Bro” and Michael had a heated argument because the latter failed to settle his dues over illegal drugs transaction with the former.
But in a sudden turn of events on Thursday night, Tulot admitted that he killed his relatives all by himself, using a hammer and a cane cutter, that the police had recovered from the house of the victims.
After admitting that he perpetrated the crime alone, Tulot recanted and said he had no hand in the killings, as it was “alias Bro” and his uncle who did it.
Puerto said the police do not have any other suspect aside from Tulot, since he was also the one who disclosed the location of the weapons believed used in the killing. “Alias Bro” could just be a product of Tulot’s imagination, he added.
He said they already released Joel Espinosa, whom they earlier invited for questioning, since it is now clear that he had no participation in the massacre.
Puerto also said that hatred could have triggered Tulot to commit the crime, considering that he and Jocelyn always argued. In fact, she and Michael had filed a blotter report in June last year against Tulot for creating alarm and scandal in their house, he said.
Jonel Nombre, Jocelyn’s husband, also said that she always scolded Tulot for bringing women and his friends to their house.
A self-confessed illegal drug user, Tulot was adopted by a sibling of Jocelyn and Gemma, who is now in the United States.
Aside from killing his relatives, Tulot allegedly stole their belongings, and brought those to the house of his friend, identified as “alias Aming”, in Brgy. Bunga, Salvador Benedicto town, Negros Occidental, the police said.
Six cellular phones and several gadgets owned by the victims and a box of fancy jewelry were recovered by the police from the house of Tulot’s friend in a follow-up operation on Thursday, Puerto said.
The police is now awaiting the autopsy reports and the affidavits of the victims’ family so that they could file multiple murder charges against Tulot. Robbery or theft may also be filed against him next week, Puerto said.
Puerto added that the City Prosecutor’s Office already elevated to the court the charges for illegal drugs possession against Tulot, who yielded five sachets of suspected shabu when he was arrested on Wednesday.
The police already declared the case closed because of the admission of Tulot, who is now detained at Police Station 8.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, meanwhile, said the people salute the Bacolod City Police Office, led by Col. Manuel Placido, for immediately solving the gruesome massacre.
“Particularly, we recognize the expertise and efficiency of Station 8 commander, P/Major Joery Puerto, and his men in handling the investigation,” Leonardia said. “While it was an unfortunate and very sad incident, we hope that it will never happen again,” he added. Leonardia said, “The swift action and solution by our policemen gives us a sense of assurance that in Bacolod, crime does not pay.”*