Belgian student dies in apparent suicide in Bacolod


BACOLOD CITY, Philippines— A Belgian in Bacolod City as a foreign exchange student allegedly jumped to his death from a building at the La Consolacion College main campus at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

The fatality was identified as Matthew Geurts, 18, a temporary resident of Barangay Bata, Bacolod City, said Chief Insp. Danilo Francisco, Bacolod City police Station 1 commander.

Geurts, who was taking up fine arts, major in digital media, at LCC-Bacolod, was a scholar of the American Field Service Organization (AFS).

A student and an employee of the school told the police that they saw Geurts at the top floor of the five-story Mother Ignacia Consuelo Barcelo Activity Center and later saw him falling onto the quadrangle, Francisco said.

A letter which the police believed to be a suicide note was recovered from Geurts. However, there was no one to interpret its content as it was written in French, Francisco said.

Geurts was rushed to the Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Roderick Samonte, director for external relations of the University of St. La Salle and president of the AFS Bacolod chapter, said Geurts had been in Bacolod City for six months.

Samonte said that Geurts was one of 11 foreign nationals sent to Bacolod as part of the AFS’ inter-cultural program. They include French, Germans, Thais, Japanese, an Argentinian and a Panamanian.

Samonte said two representatives from the AFS Manila chapter would be coming to Bacolod City to get a report on the investigation conducted by the police and the National Bureau of Investigation.

Samonte added that the AFS chapter in Manila has informed the family of Geurts about what happened to him.

 Originally posted at 11:25 am | Wednesday, January 23, 2012

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • nicosan

    may google translate naman ah

    • The Overlord

      Try translating Filipino to English in Google Translate. Imagine how much more hilarious it would be if it were French to English.

      • Diepor

        French to english work much better.

    • mia vargas


  • Cano Manuel

    “A letter which the police believed to be a suicide note was recovered from Geurts. However, there was no one to interpret its content as it was written in French, Francisco said.”

    “A student and an employee of the school told the police that they saw Geurts on the rooftop of the Mother Ignacia Consuelo Barcelo Activity Center and later saw him falling onto the quadrangle, Francisco said.”

    How could they assume it was suicide if they could not even confirm the content of the letter? Seeing someone on the rooftop and later on falling to the ground does not necessitate that the person indeed made a leap to his death. 

    I was once on a roof top and I fell, because I slipped!

    • The Overlord

      You don’t write something that “looks” like a suicide note, go to the top floor of a school building, then have yourself found hours later dead. It’s called “apparent” suicide for a reason.

      • Cano Manuel

        I was once on a roof top and I slipped. I fell. That time I kept a lot of journals about how I saw the world, but they were never suicide notes. If I died when I fell, I would haunt those who would claim I died of suicide.

      • The Overlord

        But you didn’t die anyway.

      • batangpaslit

        hahaha…you mean, multo ni Cano ang sumasagot sa ‘yo, Bro?

      • Cano Manuel

        Cano doesn’t exist. It’s an alias, a decoy, a representation. 

      • Cano Manuel

        If I had died, people would think I committed suicide. So my point is, it is too early to tell without any substantial evidence that the person indeed leaped to his death. Seeing a person falling from a rooftop and getting a letter written in French does not substantiate a claim that he apparently committed suicide. That is just a theory. 

    • dada belle

      there is a barrier at the rooftop to ensure our safety though… One does not simply slip.

      • Cano Manuel

        I see. That is good point. 

      • batangpaslit

        you mean, si Mr Manuel is not writing in truth? drama nia lang ‘yon na nadulas sia?
        i have four houses—two in the Philippines, and two in North America.
        but my rooftops have no barriers.
        I designed it like the rooftop of bahay kubo.

      • The Overlord

        Aww, too bad for you. Hope you don’t slip in any of your houses’ rooftops. :)

        My capsule dome in Mars effectively bars anyone from going to the rooftop, so you can’t slip up there in any way. Same as for my house in Uranus. :)

      • batangpaslit


        can’t afford to pay my fare in buying seat that is scheduled to whisk me to Mars and to Uranus, hence, i can’t visit your home above the stratosphere.
        i have my earthly abode with its roof designed in inverted V to drain down rain water and snow when it thaws in Spring.

        levity aside, you have a nimble mind and a sense of humor to boot. am impressed

      • Cano Manuel

        that is soooooo legit

      • The Overlord

        Mwah! Thanks, dahling! :)

      • Cano Manuel

        Actually, it happened where I resided at the time. And it happened spectacularly embarrassing. We had guests that time and everyone was stunned to see me fall in a quite atypical manner. If you know what I mean. HAHA! 

      • The Overlord

        You should congratulate yourself for a job well done: you gave everyone a good time. Not everyone has the talent to do that.

      • dada belle

        we’re talking about the barrier on the rooftop of our school since we were at the same school as Guerts… I’m not talking about mr. Manuel’s house and how he slipped.

      • batangpaslit

        i read you
        as an afterthought, after responding to the banter of The Overlord, an impression invaded my mind that perhaps you were referring to the building where the Belgian student fall off.

      • Cano Manuel

        I am telling the truth. If you can’t believe it, so be it. I understand some “rare” occurrence doesn’t always make people believe they are. 

    • batangpaslit

      huli sila Tsong ano. hindi na news reporting kundi nauwi sa “tsismis”

    • mia vargas


  • mxsclxmxn

    …poor soul!

  • batangpaslit

    no one to translate French?
    what about the French or Belgian Embassy?
    a student taking up European languages?

  • Issah Asistido

    Poor Matt.. Somehow, I think, that the problem was that no one really reached out for you.. You always smiled when called, you never showed you were in some kind of trouble at all…


  • jolly_baby

    If someone  reaches out, it will also be ignored.

  • MuslimMary

    Was the cement’s next of kin notified?

  • Primo

    He committed suicide in the school and the school does not know how to find ways to translate french to English? (nevermind french to Tagalog, it won’t make sense) that’s crazy..LCC teaches french for their HRM student how come they knew nothing about french language? sucks then why not try Online dictionary then…feel bad

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos