THE National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7) has arrested six members of a family suspected to be involved in the killing of one Romneck Potot, a 31-year-old resident of Barangay Manlagtang, Tabogon, northern Cebu.
A seventh suspect, the victim’s wife identified as Geraldine Deligero-Potot, remains at large.
The NBI 7 identified the other suspects as Fausto Gerry Deligero, Imelda Toling Deligero, Willin Pevida Sopsop, Zalde Pevida Sopsop, Jose Bandojo and Arlene Sopsop Flores who are all said to be relatives of Geraldine.
All six are now detained at the Medellin Police Station following murder charges that had been filed against them.
A case of parricide was also filed against Geraldine.
The warrants of arrest were issued by Judge Cesar Madeja, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 80 in Bogo City. No bail was recommended.
The arrests last Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, came more than a year after Potot was reported missing by his wife, Geraldine, in July 2020.
Potot worked as a cook in Manila but returned home with his wife after the establishment he worked for ceased to operate due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He was reported missing just a month after the couple arrived from Manila.
Potot’s remains were later found slumped in a grassy area near their house.
NBI 7 investigators said they found Geraldine’s pronouncements inconsistent and suspicious as she only reported her husband missing three days after he failed to return home.
Agapito Gierran, the NBI agent assigned to the case, said he found it suspicious that Geraldine easily accepted the death of her husband even while she told NBI investigators that they were happily married.
“As an investigator, you will really doubt because she was able to immediately accept her husband’s fate. We looked into the inconsistencies of the wife,” Gierran said in a mix of Tagalog and English.
“She said they were happily married and her husband was perfect, but when he failed to go home one night, she didn’t even bother to look for him? When her husband’s father asked where he was, that’s the time she panicked,” Gierran added.
NBI 7 investigators said Potot’s neighbors overheard an argument between the victim and his wife’s family prior to his death.
Several members of Geraldine’s family allegedly then beat up Potot, resulting in his death.
Investigators still have to ascertain the cause of the argument, but witnesses said it may have had something to do with the lot Potot bought for his parents.
“We don’t have an issue with Geraldine, but her family always looked down on us because of our status in life. They never liked us,” said the victim’s sibling, Reybelyn Potot, in Cebuano.
The victim’s mother, Esterlita Potot, thanked the NBI 7 for the arrest of the suspects and called on Geraldine to surrender.
“Justice has been served,” said Esterlita.