MANILA, Philippines – For more than two weeks since Lina and Eduardo Gabriel last saw their son, they searched police stations, funeral homes, streets, and alleys of nearby and distant cities, hoping to find him.
They finally saw Reynaldo – Kulot to family and friends – on Wednesday, September 6, in a Facebook post that showed a corpse floating on a creek in a village more than a hundred kilometers away from where they lived.
The post said the boy was thrown into the waterway the previous night, and was spotted at noon the following day. He was no more than 12 years old, it said, with at least 6 stab wounds in his slim body. "It is such a pity what they did," the poster said.
A resident in Barangay San Roque, Gapan City in Nueva Ecija, found the boy floating face down, his head wrapped in plastic and packing tape, his skin full of wounds, and his leg wrapped around a sack. Residents said he smelled like gas.
The Dariz Funeral Home in Gapan retrieved the corpse for identification of relatives. Eduardo and Lina arrived at the funeral parlor after 3 hours on the road on Wednesday, and saw the lifeless boy with a birthmark on the back of his ear, a scar on his neck, and a mark on his knees. They confirmed it was their son. He was 14.
Photo by Eloisa Lopez/Rappler
Lina touched her son's skin and held his body. She said whoever did this to Reynaldo had no heart. "Don't you have children as well?" she asked.
Eduardo wished the same thing would happen to his son's killer. Karma will avenge me, he said.
Doctors from the National Bureau of Investigation and Commission on Human Rights arrived to inspect Reynaldo's body, to determine the cause of the boy's death. The public expressed outrage over the incident, the latest and the most gruesome in a series of killings of teenagers over the last month. (READ: Kian and Carl: What the deaths of the two boys have in common)
Night fell and the full moon lit the sky. It had been hours since the couple had been reunited with their son but they had more questions than answers. Eduardo and Lina were no longer crying. They stopped talking.
There was only exhaustion, silence, and anger in the Dariz Funeral Home on Wednesday night. And there was also Reynaldo on the other side of the room where his parents slept, waiting to go home. – Rappler.com