Cesar Sayoc, who stands accused of sending a string of packages with explosive devices to top Democrats, is the son of a Filipino immigrant and his Brooklyn-born wife.
The arrest of Sayoc has some people wondering more about his nationality and biography. Sayoc, 56, of South Florida, is a registered Republican who plastered his van and social media accounts with pro Donald Trump and Republican rhetoric, trashing many of the same Democrats who received packages. He now stands accused of multiple federal crimes after fingerprint and DNA evidence led authorities to him. He was such a fervent Trump supporter that he filled his social media accounts with photos and video from Trump rallies, some showing him wearing a Make America Great Again hat. You can see those photos and videos here.
What’s known about Cesar Sayoc’s nationality? Here’s what you need to know:
Sayoc’s Dad Was an Immigrant From the Philippines
Cesar Sayoc refers in multiple social media posts to the Seminole tribe. However, that tribe says he is not a member. “We can find no evidence that Cesar Altieri, Caesar Altieri, Caesar Altieri Sayoc, Ceasar Altieri Randazzo (Facebook) or Julus Cesar Milan (Twitter) is or was a member or employee of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, or is or was an employee of Seminole Gaming or Hard Rock International,” Gary Bitner, spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, said, according to Rolling Stone.
Rather, Sayoc was born to a father who moved to the United States from the Philippines. The Sayoc surname is most commonly found in the Philippines (second density for the surname is in the United States).
Cesar Sayoc, the package suspect, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
Sayoc’s mother is from Brooklyn and his father, Cesar Sayoc Sr., was from the Philippines. The Miami Herald reports that his father was an immigrant from that country and “was naturalized in 1970 in North Miami Beach.” Heavy has obtained Sayoc’s dad’s naturalization record from Ancestry.com, which you can read above.
The immigration record says the father, who spelled his name Ceasar Sayoc, came from Manila and was living in North Miami Beach. He arrived in the United States in 1956, the record states. Ancestry records indicate Sayoc’s father died in 2009 and received a social security number in California. The Miami Herald reports that this Ceasar Sayoc is believed to be the suspect’s father. There is a divorce record for Sayoc’s parents on Ancestry.
In the immigration records, Sayoc’s mother indicated she was born in Brooklyn, New York and was a citizen. Her nationality is not given. The parents met while attending beauty school, according to the record from Ancestry.com. Florida corporation records show Sayoc’s mother has run several businesses in Florida.
State of Florida corporation records show that the suspect had two registered businesses: Native American Catering & Vending and VER TECH AG.
Sayoc had been living with his mother, the former Madeline Altieri, in recent years, according to court documents. He filed for bankruptcy in 2012 while living with her. According to CNN, his mother and stepfather kicked him out recently and he was living in his van. The origins of the Altieri surname are generally Italian.
In 1994, his grandmother, Viola Altieri, filed a domestic violence injunction against him. It was later dismissed at her request. His grandmother was also listed in court documents as having bailed him out of jail during other arrests. Viola Altieri died at age 92 in 2006. The obituary lists her daughter, the suspect’s mother, as “Madeline (John) Sayoc Giardiello of Aventura.” She appears to still go by the name of Madeline Giardiello.
Sayoc’s mother learned about her son’s arrest from a hospital bed after having surgery, the family lawyer told WSVN-TV, adding that the suspect is “mentally ill and insecure.” According to CBS Miami, Sayoc’s mother is president of the condo association where she lives. “She has served the Board of Directors well for the past 18 years and she is a nice woman. It is amazing how these things just happen. It is crazy and unbelievable. I have not seen her son around her,” one neighbor told the television station.
Sayoc Claims to Come From a Family Involved in Martial Arts in the Philippines But Things He Wrote on LinkedIn Aren’t All True
On LinkedIn, Sayoc painted quite an elaborate tale about his family background, but not all of it checks out. However, he does claim to have relatives from the Philippines. Sayoc claimed on his LinkedIn page that his grandfather, Col. Baltazar Zook Sayoc, was a martial arts practitioner who created his own style of fighting, Sayoc Kali. Sayoc claimed in the post that the style was used to fight the Communist Party of the Philippines. Here is a website that explains the fighting style. Sayoc included the details about his family in a LinkedIn section in which he also claimed to have studied veterinary medicine.
However, one university he listed as attending on LinkedIn said in a statement that Cesar Altieri Sayoc never attended nor applied to it.
Here’s what he wrote about his family in the LinkedIn post:
Career decision of becoming a Horse Doctor was always a love for animals, which were here first and never do anything to anyone. And respect all living things. My family very sound Sayoc name in Medical field Grandfather Col. Baltazar Zook Sayoc that perfect the conversion oriental eye to Americanize. The first plastic surgeon to be observed by 8 million people in NY city Hospital. He over through Communist Philippines liberated island. He built all hospitals in Philippines islands and sets standards highest level. Most surgeon use his instruments which are patented. And a lot surgeon use today. Also Sayoc intl. schools marshals arts Kali that used to over throw communist party . Also one 5 Hero’s disciplinary my mother Madeline Sayoc Giardiello First president Pharmacy Cosmetic Association, Who Who Business Women of Year, Soul buyer consultant for Home Shopping Network, head number 1 marketing consul in World Aventura Marketing consul, up for city counsel women Aventura.
A May 1960 article in the New Castle News from New Castle, Pennsylvania shows that there was a doctor from the Philippines who “made an intensive study of surgical correction of slant eyes.” (That’s in the words of the newspaper, showing how racist language was sometimes common in newspapers of the time). However, that article gives the name of that doctor as Lt. Col. Burgos T. Sayoc, not Baltazar Zook Sayoc, and there’s no confirmation he’s related to Cesar Sayoc. Two different obits of family members of Burgos Sayoc or his wife Severina don’t mention Cesar Sayoc or his dad.
The suspect also wrote on LinkedIn that he was a “Promoter, booking agent Live entertainment, owner, choreographer.” His cousin, who declined to be identified, told NBC News that Sayoc was a “lost soul” whose brain was affected from taking steroids.
The cousin told NBC that Sayoc worked as a dancer and bouncer at strip clubs, telling the network, “He’s always been a little bit of a loose cannon. He’s always been a lost soul. Too many steroids in his day. That stuff will melt your brain.”
The Kali Sayoc school in New York condemned the crimes and said in a statement that it has no knowledge of Sayoc.
You can read more about Cesar Sayoc here.