Cesar Montano appeals for privacy after son's death
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Actor Cesar Montano issued a statement following the death of his son, Christian Angelo, who committed suicide in their home in Quezon City on Friday morning apparently due to a "love" problem.
In an official message sent to the media, Montano said he was surprised when he heard about the tragic incident.
"To our dear friends from the media: I received the shocking news of my son, Christian Angelo's death early this morning while I was in Bohol. I, along with my wife Sunshine and daughter Angela, immediately flew back to Manila first thing today to be with my son," he said.
"No words can describe the grief that my family and I are experiencing with this devastating news. He was young, a cheerful, thoughtful and loving son who has a generous heart and spirit," Montano said.
"I was just with him yesterday before leaving for Bohol. Little did I know that it would be the last time I was to see him alive."
Montano (real name Cesar Manhilot) said a friend and neighbor, Dr. Tony Leachon, pronounced his son dead on arrival at the Malvar General Hospital in Quezon City.
The actor also confirmed that Christian Angelo died from a single gun shot wound in the head. Montano said they are still trying to get all the facts pertaining to the death of his son.
He appealed for understanding to give them the privacy they need while they grieve over their loss.
"We are still trying to piece together some facts pertaining to his death. While I am still reeling from this tragic incident, my family and I would like to appeal to everyone to respect the privacy of my grieving family all this time. Thank you very much for your understanding. May God's strength be with all of us," Montano said.
Christian Angelo, 23, Montano's son with his late first wife, shot himself in the head with a .45 pistol inside their house along Yakal Street, Tivoli Royale subdivision in Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City at around 6 a.m..
Radio DZMM reported that, according to Manhilot's helpers, Christian Angelo took his own life allegedly due to problems with his girlfriend.
The report said Christian Angelo was talking to someone over the phone before he ended his life.
In an earlier interview, Superintendent Chris Mendoza, commander of the Batasan Police Station, said Christian Angelo was rushed to Malvar Hospital in Quezon City and was declared dead at 6:40 a.m.. The boy died of a single gunshot wound in the head.
He said that household helper Alicia Pancho was the one who discovered the victim in the kitchen located at the 2nd floor of the Manhilots' house.
Pancho called the police station at the subdivision’s security quarters, the police commander said.
He said crime scene investigators found the boy’s bloodied body slumped in one corner of the kitchen with a .45 pistol by his side.
Aside from the gun, a landline phone and a cellular phone were also found near the boy’s body.
No to autopsy
Montano reportedly rejected an autopsy for his son since he believes his son really took his own life. He also believes there was no foul play, radio DZMM said.
According to Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) chief Inspector Rizaldy Odi, who went in Montano's house, they read a text message allegedly from the boy's girlfriend saying that she had already forgiven him if he was asking for forgiveness.
The report said Christian Angelo was able to reply to his girlfriend before the unfortunate incident.
Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina, police spokesman, meanwhile, said that police investigators would have to continue the investigation despite Montano's statement.
"As a matter of investigative procedure, we will proceed with the investigation of the case to determine if there was a suicide case, as initially reported, or not," Espina said.
Montano was not home when the incident happened as he was busy campaigning in Bohol.
The incident happened during Friday's kick-off of the campaign for the local elections.
Montano is running for governor of Bohol. -- With reports from Doland Castro, ABS-CBN News, DZMM