Mambajao on Camiguin in the Philippines. Photo: Google Maps
Mambajao on Camiguin in the Philippines. Photo: Google Maps

A former migrant worker who shot his estranged wife to death and then killed himself outside a church on the Philippine island of Camiguin had reportedly threatened her after finding she was having an affair.

Celmar Linao, 37, shot his wife Ivy, 35, with a .45-caliber pistol in the  town of Catarman in Mambajao district about 8:40am on Sunday as a mass was underway in the church. He initially tried to kill her beside the altar, but the weapon misfired and Ivy fled toward a side exit.

“She went outside and it was where we heard two gunshots,” said Father Rolly Aniscal, who was officiating at the mass. Other witnesses said that Ivy had been slowed by one of their seven children as she tried to escape.

Police said she was hit by a single bullet that went through her left arm as she tried to shield her face, and then her skull, Manila Standard said. Linao then turned the gun on himself, dying from a head wound.

Catarman police Women and Children’s Protection Desk officer Rosemarie Bana said Ivy Linao went to her office in December for advice on the couple’s marital situation, saying her husband had threatened her because he was jealous. She did not disclose the reason for his jealousy.

Ivy was advised to take legal action and did not file a complaint at the police station. Police officer Ritchie Babia said the couple separated a few months ago after Linao found his wife was in another relationship.

The mass resumed 20 minutes after the incident, with Father Aniscal asking the parishioners to say a prayer for the dead couple. 

“I told the people to be silent for a minute and offer a prayer for them, then I continued saying the mass,” he said.