As pictures of the SM Megamall suicide go viral and make international headlines, there are new reports that Madonna Guanzon may not have meant to plunge to her death inside the Manila shopping center.
The suicide took place in Building B of the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, Philippines, last week. Madonna Guanzon, 48, had reportedly jumped from a fifth-floor railing and died after crashing to the ground far below, despite the efforts of mall staff to rush to her aid.
In a statement released this week, SM Supermalls Vice President Steven Tan said the company will offer its full cooperation into the investigation of the SM Megamall suicide.
“A woman fell at Building B in SM Megamall. She was immediately rushed to the hospital by the mall personnel,” Tan said (via Inquirer.net). “The mall security and the local authorities are currently investigating the matter. We will cooperate for further inquiry.”
Inquirer reached out to Mandaluyong City police, who had no new details. But some reports online suggest that what’s being termed the SM Megamall suicide was actually an accident. Some say the woman may not have fallen intentionally, but instead lost her balance at the railing and fell to her death.
One commenter claimed that witnesses saw the woman playing near the railing shortly before she fell.
“According those who witnessed before she fell. She DID NOT COMMIT SUICIDE. She was being playful with her companions and sat on the railing and shouted ‘walang forever,'” the person wrote. “Unfortunately, she slipped and fell.”
Trending News Portal also cited witnesses who said Madonna Guanzon seemed to jump the railing for no reason.
“The said woman was said to be in the mid-20s. She was a lesbian who was just standing at the 5th floor of the Building B of SM Megamall when she decided to jump off the railing.”
“But one of the witnesses who were at the 3rd floor of the mall with her girlfriend said that the woman above started showing how brave she was by sitting on the railings of the mall. But she lost her balance and fell.”
Still other reports claim that Madonna Guanzon leaped from the fifth floor after a spat with her partner.
“Police said that the last text message seen at Guanzon’s mobile phone is “I love you. Goodbye!” and was sent to her partner identified only as Chona,” Zeibiz reported. “Investigators revealed that the two are not in good terms because Guanzon was jealous over the issue of Chonna entertaining a suitor.”
Police reportedly found more evidence on Guanzon’s phone, including text messages showing that she was jealous of her partner’s new love interest.
The disturbing incident quickly went viral not only in the Philippines but across the globe this weekend, with pictures of the SM Megamall suicide spreading on social media.
Others left messages offering condolences for the deceased woman and her family.
— Marci Jeune Bacalla (@marcibacalla) February 14, 2016
There are some who raised fears that such a public suicide could lead to other suicides. Researchers have shown that highly publicized suicides, as this one was, can often create a copycat effect [anyone who has thoughts of suicide can click here for information on suicide hotlines in the Philippines and here for the United States].
Even as pictures of the SM Megamall suicide made the rounds, other social media postings showed that life continued on for shoppers at the mall. Within a day others had posted pictures of shopping and attending events at the same mall where Madonna Guanzon had lost her life just hours before.
[Picture by Steve Jennings/Getty Images]