Argao man stays on top of coconut tree for over 24 hours

Man says someone out to kill him; police suspect he is high on drugs

By: Emmariel Ares and Paul Lauro - Multimedia reporter and correspondent/CDN Digital | February 22,2024 - 06:17 PM

Argao man stays on top of coconut tree for over 24 hours

A 42-year-old man stayed on top of a coconut tree believing that five persons were coming to kill him in Sitio Lilo, Barangay Panadtaran, Argao, Cebu since Tuesday evening, February 20, 2024. | Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A 42-year-old man from Argao, southern Cebu, frantically climbed up and stayed on top of a coconut tree allegedly to save himself from men out to kill him.

After more than 24 hours, the man has decided to come down and was then turned over to a rehabilitation center on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

The incident happened in Sitio Lilo, Barangay Panadtaran, a mountainous area in Argao, Cebu.

The man was identified as 42-year-old Benjie Pantinople, a resident of the barangay.

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According to Police Major Ivy Bartolome, chief of Argao Police Station, Pantinople climbed up the tree at around 10:00 p.m. on. Tuesday, February 20.

His mother earlier said that the man frantically left home and ran to a grassy area saying someone was running after him.

Pantinople reportedly told his mother that the persons who were after him were going to kill him.

“Naa siyay gi-estorya nga nikatkat siyag lubi, nidagan siya kay naa daw lima ka tawo nga humahabol sa kanya at papatayin siya,” relayed Bartolome.

He then climbed up a 30-foot coconut tree and refused to come down despite his family’s pleas.

This prompted the family members to call the authorities for assistance.

However, the man still refused to come down saying his life was in danger.

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Bartolome disclosed that at around 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, the station received a call from the command center stating that Pantinople has chosen to come down.

She said that after this, his family members gave him food and made him rest at a relative’s house nearby while waiting for police to arrive.

According to Bartolome, his family has requested assistance from police to transport Pantinople to a rehabilitation center in the municipality.

She added the man was more calm and may have grown tired so he came down.

Bartolome further disclosed that they are conducting an investigation on the claims of the man that he was a target.

However, their initial findings reveal that no such threat existed.

“Based on our investigation, ongoing investigation, so far wala pong ganung pangyayari based sa mga kapitbahay at mga tao sa lugar,” said Bartolome.

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She also said that following what happened, they will be checking whether Pantinople has previous records of drug use and whether he was under the influence at that time.

However, she said that there is a possibility that he has used illegal drugs after his family requested that he be brought straight to a rehab facility.

Bartolome added that it is possible that Pantinople was high at the time of the incident.

As of this writing, police are still investigating the case and whether illegal drugs or depression drove Pantinople to climb the coconut tree.

Furthermore, Bartolome advised the public to stay away from illegal drugs to avoid being thrown into a similar situation.

READ: Heartbroken man rescued from jumping off transmission tower in Medellin town

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TAGS: Argao, drugs, illegal drugs

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