Filipino woman accused of partner's murder was suspecting affair, court told

The couple were constantly fighting, and the accused messaged her landlord last year about suicidal thoughts

A court hearing evidence against a woman accused of murdering her partner has been told that she had been suspecting an affair.

44-year-old Mayumi Santos Patacsil from the Philippines stands accused of the murder of Marcelino Montalban Saraza, her partner of four years. She is also accused of fabricating evidence, tampering with evidence and making a false report to the police.

Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo heard various witnesses this morning, beginning with his manager at Malta Public Transport, Daniel Raymondo.

“Marcellino was stationed at Cirkewwa. He never gave us any trouble or had problems with clients or colleagues. He had four minor infractions for reporting late for work, overspeeding amongst others. He never failed any company drug tests.”

Some two years ago a woman had called to check if he was at work, recalled the witness. The dispatcher had asked Marcellino who said that it was his girlfriend. She called again and spoke to another dispatcher who informed the woman that his bus had developed a problem and was delayed. The woman had also gone to the offices on occasion.

“One time I found him eating with his phone ringing and him ignoring it. He said it was his girlfriend.”

“On the day of the murder, I was smoking outside and he came out on break. I joked that I was jealous of his two-tone hair colour.” He told the bald witness,“you’re still doing good, sir.”

Patacsil’s landlady also testified, reporting a message from the accused on 16 December 2020, saying she wanted to kill herself. The landlady had reported this to the police, saying it was all she could do.

She had later asked Patacsil to find another apartment after receiving a number of complaints from residents.

“There was an argument and Mayumi said her husband had had an affair with the other resident. Two days later I received a call complaining that the problems had not been resolved and I asked Mayumi to move elsewhere.”

She said the accused had told her that she wanted to kill herself to “let Marcello be happy.” After calling the police to help the woman, Patacsil had fallen out with the witness, accusing her of bringing her trouble with the police. The witness said she had blocked Mayumi’s number at that point. “I told her ‘Ok from now on don’t contact me anymore.’”

Asked what behaviour the accused exhibited, the landlady said she was “normal.”

Two male Filipino friends of the deceased testified that the accused was “always jealous.”

Melvin Fabilar Villacapa told the court that he would speak with Marcellino on the subject of his partner’s jealousy.

“Mayumi was often saying that Marcellino has other women but it wasn’t true,” said the witness. “They were constantly fighting.”

Edleto Jail Rosal said he came to know the accused through the victim. “Mayumi’s always jealous,” said the man, adding that she suspected him of having an affair with a woman he identified only as “Gino”.

The case continues on 27 October.

Inspector Shawn Pawney prosecuted, together with lawyer George Camilleri and lawyer Anthony Vella from the Office of the Attorney General.

Lawyers Franco Debono, Ryan Ellul and Tiziana Micallef were defence counsel.