By Jennifer P. Rendon
Police have filed charges of murder and frustrated murder against the 22-year-old man who killed his former girlfriend and wounded her alleged new boyfriend.
Colonel Rhea Santos, Guimaras Police Provincial Office (GPPO) chief, said the charges against Zoilo Sereño were filed Saturday afternoon before the Guimaras Provincial Prosecutors Office.
Five individuals stood as witnesses against the suspect.
Sereño, a casual employee of the Pulupandan Rural Health Unit and resident of Von Ryan St., Barangay Zone 6, Pulupandan City, Negros Occidental, admitted to the gun attack that killed Christine Mae Piamonte, 22, of Barangay Cabungahan, San Lorenzo, Guimaras.
Piamonte, who is Sereño’s ex-girlfriend, was a fourth-year student studying Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the said university. She was supposed to graduate in a few months.
The incident happened inside the Guimaras State University (GSU)-Buenavista campus in Barangay Mclain, Buenavista around 2:50 p.m. Friday.
But before shooting Piamonte, Sereño targeted Ram Arlo Tacubay, 26, who was hired by the university as the musical director of the Palayag Festival.
The violent attack happened after Sereño suspected that Piamonte and Tacubay were dating.
According to reports, the suspect came from Pulupandan and travelled to Guimaras province via a private pump boat.
He then headed to the school campus to allegedly talk to Piamonte and get the real score between them.
Piamonte was Sereño’s girlfriend of three years.
He claimed that the woman got cold with their relationship in 2023 until they broke up in September.
Santos said the suspect managed to enter the school campus after telling security personnel that he would just personally give Piamonte’s allowance.
He was able to catch Piamonte and Tacubay, who were with several other students, inside Room 3 of the university’s Agri-Eco Building.
Sereño said he saw Tacubay planting a kiss on Piamonte while placing his arm around her shoulders.
“But according to our witnesses, it wasn’t true. There was no public display of affection,” Santos said.
Even the duo’s friends claimed that they were still not officially dating.
Reports said the suspect first shot Tacubay who suffered a graze wound on the head and a gunshot injury on the chest.
Piamonte allegedly tried to parry the attack, but the suspect shot her, too.
Both victims were taken to Buenavista Emergency Hospital.
At that time, Piamonte was already unconscious while Tacubay was still able to talk.
The two were later transferred to Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City but Piamonte was declared dead at 9 p.m.
In an interview shortly after his arrest, the suspect claimed he had no remorse for what happened.
“Wala ko nag hinulsol ah. Pero basi sa ulihi, mahinulsol man ko,” he casually said.
He kept on blaming Piamonte for what happened.
“Gusto ko lang mabal-an ang kamatuoran, gin-dinalok niya pa. Amo lang na napangayo ko (I just wanted the truth but she did not give it to me. That’s all I asked of her),” he said.
He admitted to threatening the woman by telling her not to wait for him to discover the truth.
“Sinabi niya pa nga na kung hindi rin lang sila magkabalikan, walang may pwedeng makakapagmay-ari kay Christine,” Sereño said.
Sereño also blamed Tacubay for wooing his ex-girlfriend knowing that it would hurt him.
He claimed that Piamonte was giving him hope that they might get back together.
“Ginpabatyag ko sa ila ang kasakit nga nabatyagan ko (I let them feel the hurt that I was feeling),” he said.
The suspect claimed he had no plans of killing the two victims. But he fell silent when asked why was he armed.
Sereño later claimed that it was for self-defense.
At some point, he claimed that he’d been planning to use his savings to hire someone to kill Piamonte’s new lover.
But later on decided that he would just secure a gun and confront them.
Sereño said that he would just face the accusations against him in court.
As of this writing, Santos said that only an uncle from San Lorenzo town has visited the suspect in jail.
“So far, I haven’t heard of any relative from Negros Occidental visiting him and bringing his needs,” she said.
It was gathered that the police had to provide food for the suspect in the absence of visitors.
A FUTURE WASTED
Piamonte’s father, Marlon, said he was informed by a hospital representative around 3:30 p.m. that he needed to go to the facility because his daughter was in critical condition.
The information came an hour after the victim texted him asking for cellphone load.
Marlon claimed he insisted on bringing his daughter to a hospital in Iloilo City hoping that she would survive.
Piamonte was Marlon’s eldest of his two daughters. His other daughter was also taking the same course as the victim at a university in Iloilo City.
Before the victim could even graduate, the father claimed that work was already waiting for her at the company he works for.
Marlon said he never met Sereño but his daughter told him about a former boyfriend who was pressuring and blackmailing her.
He did not elaborate further.
Meanwhile, other family members have questioned the security measures being implemented at the school campus.
They claimed that it could not have happened if the suspect hadn’t been allowed to enter the campus or if he had just been frisked thoroughly.