• Spiritual leader dies in self-immolation

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    CAVITE: A 59-year-old leader of a religious sect on Saturday evening went berserk and set fire to a house and himself at Barangay Salawag in Dasmariñas City.

    Police Supt. Carlos Barde, Dasmariñas City police chief, identified the victim as Rafael Policarpio, a former military man and leader of “Salita ng Diyos,” a religious sect.

    Policarpio, a resident of San Pedro town in Laguna province who was reportedly distressed with personal problems, visited the house of a member of his religious sect identified as Asuncion Santiago, owner of the house located at Boston Street, South 2 Extension, San Marino Subdivision, Barangay Salawag, Dasmariñas City.

    While Policarpio and Santiago were conversing, Policarpio suddenly rose from his chair and went berserk, firing his Caliber .38 revolver indiscriminately inside Asuncion’s house.

    Santiago immediately rushed outside the house with her children in tow. After a while, she noticed that Policarpio was setting fire to her house.

    While the house was ablaze, personnel of the Dasmariñas City Bureau of Fire Protection urged Policarpio to come out. Policarpio, however, did not respond to their calls.

    After the firemen declared a “fire out” they found Policarpio’s totally burned corpse inside the house.

    Police investigators believe that Policarpio’s motive for his act was suicide.

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