Neighbors carry the wounded Adelina Palma-Bermejo to the Jaro police car. (Photo courtesy of Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo)

Neighbors carry the wounded Adelina Palma-Bermejo to the Jaro police car. (Photo courtesy of Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo)

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

AN aunt of Ilongga Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was stabbed to death shortly before noon Thursday.

 

Adelina Palma-Bermejo, 74, of Kahirup Subdivision, Brgy. Cubay, Jaro, Iloilo City died at the West Visayas State University Medical Center despite attempts by doctors to save her life. Initial findings of the Jaro police station show the victim suffered four stab wounds in her body.

 

 

Rosalina Palma-Cinco, a sister of Bermejo, found the victim bathed in her own blood with a 12-inch stainless steel knife still sticking in her back.

Cinco, who lived three houses away from the victim, said over Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo she was supposed to bring lunch to the victim when she discovered the crime.

 

Responding Jaro police officers and neighbors of the victim rushed her to the hospital onboard the police patrol.

 

According to witness Eddie Peñaflor, who is now in police custody, said a man asked him around 11 am if Bermejo was inside her home because he wants to apply as driver. But Peñaflor told the man that Bermejo’s car is under repair.

 

Still, knocked on Bermejo’s gate. When the victim asked for the visitor’s name, the man answered “Robert.”

 

Peñaflor then heard Bermejo invite “Robert” inside her house.

 

A brother of Bermejo, who asked not to be identified, said they saw bloodstains in the second and ground floors of the house. The victim’s room was also in disarray indicating that the suspect may have robbed some valuables.

 

“She once hired a driver named Robert. Maybe the motive is robbery because her room was ransacked,” the brother said.

 

The brother said Bermejo lives alone in her two-storey house although they have been warning her to be careful and not to be complacent with strangers.

Bermejo and Senator Santiago’s mother are sisters.

 

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday went to the home of a suspect but he was nowhere to be found.

 

According to NBI sources, the suspect once worked for Bermejo but left after one week. The suspect is a resident of central Iloilo, the sources added.

 

Senior Insp. Harry Decena, Jaro police chief, said Bermejo once sought their help after an unspecified spat with her former househelp.

 

“That problem was resolved later but we assured that we will check on her from time to time,” Decena said.

 

Bermejo’s murder is the latest in the series of killings happening in Iloilo City the past months.

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