By NITZ ARANCON and JOEY NACALABAN
POLICE yesterday placed a woman under detention due to the mysterious death of her partner who was left to rot for at least three days inside a house at a relocation site on Road 9, Sitio Calaanan, Barangay Canito-an.
Authorities said they were looking deeper into the death of 50-year-old cigarette vendor Romie Bagtong who was already in a state of decomposition on a bamboo bench inside his house in Canitoan. His corpse was half covered with a pillow inside the house where her partner opted to lock herself up.
Investigators said Bagtong’s partner, 40-year-old Amelita Alinggom, opted to just put up with the terrible stench that saluted the nostrils of everyone rather than call out for help.
M/Sgt. Roldan Sayatao said Bagtong has been dead for at least three days already.
Sayatao said investigators did not show signs of foul play but initial investigation results would remain inconclusive unless the body is autopsied.
Alinggom was detained because police found it unusual that she told no one about Bagtong’s death for at least three days.
Bagtong’s previous partner Jojie Devira said she suspected that Alinggom was hiding something.
“Iya (Alinggom) man gud nang daog-daogon nang akong bana, mao nang nagduda gyud ko nga siya ang suspect,” Devira said.
Bagtong and Devira had separated after they were displaced as a result of the typhoon “Sendong” devastation here in 2011.
“Didto ko nagpoyo sa among anak sa Consolacion, unya kana siya dinhi nagpoyo sa Calaanan kay na-a may iyang kaipon,” Devira said.
Bagtong’s neighbor Mary Grace Jamisola said she last saw Bagtong alive on Sunday. The following morning, she and other neighbors heard Bagtong growling inside the house at around 10 am.
“Human adtong iyang agomod, wala na dayon namo na siya makita,” said Jamisola.
It was Jamisola who went to the police to ask for help.
“Dili namo masabtan ang baho gikan sa ilang balay, mao tong miadto ko sa outpost sa polis ug tanod,” Jamisola said. “Tingala mi kay grabe na kabaho nga gikan sa ilang Tata (Alinggom) nga balay mao to among gitoktok ang pultahan apan di gatubag.”
Sayatao said it was possible that Bagtong had a nightmare and that he died in his sleep.
“Walay samad ug walay dugo nga migawas sa iyang lawas sa dihang among siyang nakit-an nga naghigda sa ilang bangko nga kawayan,” said Sayatao, adding that there was a need for an autopsy “aron ato gyud nga nasuta unsay hinongdan sa iyang pagkamatay.”
Capt. Jayson Sto. Domingo, Bulua police chief, said Alinggom came out of the house when the police demanded that she show herself. When she did, police found the dead man inside.
Alinggom she said and Bagtong collapsed while they were talking.
“Gi kraman (cramp) man lang na siya sa iyang heart unya nagsulti siya nga maayohan ra siya busa ako nalang siya gipahigda kay mo mata ra na siya,” Alinggom, in between sobs, told the police.