Grandpa thinks grandson was ‘tiyanak’, kills him

PARANG, Maguindanao (MindaNews/08 December) – A grandfather’s superstition led him into killing his own grandson whom he mistook for a “tiyanak”.

In Philippine folklore a “tiyanak” is a malevolent creature who takes the form of a child.

The suspect, Orak Mantawil, appeared to be in disbelief he had killed, James Velasco, his own grandson, when interrogated at Parang Police Station.

Showing remorse, he sought forgiveness from the child’s parents and his relatives.

“I really don’t know why it happened, I was drunk but I don’t use drugs,” he said, his head bowed inside the Parang PNP lock-up cell.

SPO2 Alinader Rasol, the case investigator, said the incident occurred at about 7 p.m. Monday in the family-owned home in Bliss, Barangay Nituran.

Rasol quoted Mantawil as saying there was a blackout at that time and he was thinking he was carrying a tiyanak and couldn’t recall what happened next.

Velasco sustained body contusions, hack wounds, head injuries and human bites in his chest. He died before reaching the hospital.

The child’s parents could not accept their eldest child was gone and died a violent death.

Fatima Velasco, the boy’s mother, recalled that the suspect brought the child inside a room at the height of power interruption. Then she heard her father shout “I killed someone”.

She later saw her child still breathing and rushed him to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

“He can no longer bring back the life of my child although he sought forgiveness,” she said.

“May kagat ng tao ang anak ko, parang sinipsip ang dugo (He has bites by a human, it appears his blood was sucked),” she added.

Mantawil was charged with parricide.

Rasol said Mantawil will be subjected to psychological examination and illegal drug test. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)