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Man nabbed for burning clothes and causing panic in Cebu City

Suspect cites mental stress as reason, says he misses his mama

By: Emmariel Ares and Paul Lauro - Multimedia reporter and correspondent/CDN Digital | April 18,2024 - 04:07 PM

man burns clothes

A 24-year-old man will be facing a charge of unjust vexation for burning his clothes inside his room and causing panic among his neighbors in Brgy. Kamputhaw, Cebu City early Thursday morning, April 18. | Emmariel Ares

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A 24-year-old man was nabbed for burning his belongings at his aunt’s house and causing panic among his neighbors in Purok 3 Upper, Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City early Thursday morning, April 18.

The man cited mental and emotional distress for his actions.

Despite not causing physical harm, the accused was arrested for causing stress to members of his neighborhood.

READ: 3 Cebu fires on Tuesday raze over P2.4M in properties


The suspect was identified as Phillip Rodriguez Belda, 24, residing at his aunt’s house in Purok 3 Upper, Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City.

Police, in a report, said that the incident happened at around 2:45 a.m. at one of the houses in Purok 3 Upper, Barangay Kamputhaw.

Belda’s aunt, reportedly heard one of their neighbors screaming about a fire.  She then rushed outside of her room to help in putting out the blaze.

While doing so, the victim allegedly saw Belda coming out of the house and running away.

READ: 2 massive fires in Cebu City: More than 150 houses gutted


Police Major Mark Don Alfred Leanza, chief of Abellana Police Station, said that the fire did not spread to any other area of the house because the walls in the room were made of concrete.

He added that the aunt, however, suffered emotional distress and their neighbors were alarmed because of the incident.

After the fire was put out, the aunt and some Barangay Public Security Officers (BPSO) personnel scoured the streets in search of Belda.

They later found him sleeping beside a nearby bridge, according to the report.

READ: No physical proof vs director Jade Castro in arson case


The accused was then taken into custody by responding officers and brought to the Abellana Police Station.

In an interview with local media, Belda admitted that he purposely set his belongings on fire because he was frustrated with his problems including being away from his mother who is in his hometown in Negros.

Furthermore, he relayed that he was drunk at the time of the incident and that it was not his intention to burn down the whole house.

Leanza credited the quick response of officers in ensuring that the blaze would not spread and cause more damage.

As of this writing, Belda is detained at the custodial facility of the Abellana Police Station while waiting for the filing of charges against him.

With his aunt as the complainant, authorities will be filing a charge of unjust vexation against him, said Leanza.

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TAGS: arson, Cebu City, fire, mental health

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