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By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Benjie B. Talisic, Nestle L. Semilla July 03,2018 - 11:22 PM

Ricarte Del Corro Jr., allegedly one of the suspects in the shooting of lawyer Salvador “Buddy” Solima, is taken into custody by the Cebu City Police Office on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, after he was identified by a witness as the one who allegedly shot the lawyer.


One of the suspected assailants of lawyer Salvador “Buddy” Solima fell into the hands of the police barely 16 hours since the veteran criminal lawyer was killed inside his home in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.

Ricarte “Blue Fox” Del Corro, 32, was arrested by operatives of the Punta Princesa Police Station at his residence in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City, in what earlier appeared to be a drug bust at around 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

Supt. Ryan Devaras, chief of the Investigation and Detective Management Branch (IDMB) of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said they later found out that Del Corro was the same person who went to Solima’s house weeks ago together with the lawyer’s former client and aide Alberto Baluyos.

My conscience is clear

Sought for comment, Del Corro denied having a hand in the killing of Solima.

“Limpyo ang akong konsensya. Dili ako ang nagpatay. Wala gani ko kaila anang biktima (My conscience is clear. I was not the one who killed him. I did not even know the victim),” he said while frequently closing his eyes.

Del Corro, a dance instructor, said he was just in their house in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City, at the time Solima was killed.

He admitted to using illegal drugs but said he did it only “occasionally.”

On the other hand, Baluyos was invited to the police headquarters on Monday night to shed light on the crime after Solima’s househelps told the investigators that the 29-year-old Baluyos frequented the lawyer’s house and at times threatened him over payment involving a land deal.

The last time Baluyos dropped by Solima’s house was at around 1 p.m. on Monday, about five hours before the lawyer was killed. Baluyos was then accompanied by his younger brother Alvin.

While they received reports that the two brothers returned to Solima’s house, Devaras said they have yet to find concrete evidence to corroborate the

“They (Baluyos brothers) could have acted as lookouts during the crime but we have yet to establish that. For now, what we’re sure of was that Del Corro was one of the gunmen since he was positively identified by the witnesses,” said Devaras in an interview on Tuesday.

Devaras said they have the identity of the other assailant who remained at large but could not reveal it yet while the investigation continued.

Criminal charges

Charges of murder and frustrated murder were being prepared by the police against Del Corro.

A separate case for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, particularly for selling prohibited drugs, as well as illegal possession of firearm will be filed against the suspect after policemen seized four sachets of shabu and an unlicensed .38-caliber revolver allegedly from Del Corro’s possession during the drug bust on Tuesday.

“Del Corro is our prime suspect in the killing of Attorney Solima. We’re still trying to establish what really was the participation of the Baluyos siblings in the crime,” Devaras said.

Del Corro’s firearm would be examined to determine if it was the same gun used to kill Solima.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, interviewed in Manila on Tuesday, said the Department of Justice is ready to assist in the investigation into the killing of Solima, a former prosecutor in Cebu.

“We at the Department of Justice (DOJ) are saddened by his tragic death, and we are ready to assist the police in solving the case,” he said.

Solima, a prominent criminal lawyer in Cebu, was shot dead by two men who pretended to seek his legal help inside his office on the second floor of his house in Singson Village, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City, at around 6 p.m. on Monday.

Solima, 67, was rushed to the hospital by his househelps but succumbed to gunshot wounds on his head and body less than an hour later.

His wife, Verose, who was shot in the head, remained in critical condition.

‘A father to me’

In a separate interview, Alberto Baluyos also insisted his innocence, saying he could not have killed Solima.

“I considered him (Solima) as my father because he was the one who helped me get out of jail. Even if I die now, I’ll stand by my word that I did not have him killed,” he said in Cebuano.

Solima was Alberto’s legal counsel in a robbery with homicide case filed against him in court in 2007.

Alberto said he spent nine years in prison before he was acquitted of the charges in 2016.

While he was in jail, he said he promised to give Solima a part of a land owned by his family although it didn’t materialize because the lawyer eventually did not ask for it.

When he stepped out of prison, Alberto said he decided to stay with Solima and served as the latter’s house aide.

It was during that time when Solima’s wife Verose allegedly expressed willingness to buy another property owned by the Baluyos family for P7.5 million.

Alberto said he agreed and gave the land title to the Solimas.

But since then, Verose had allegedly not fully paid the amount.

“After staying in their house for over a year, I decided to move out because I was afraid they might accuse me of a wrongdoing I didn’t commit,” he said, without elaborating.


Alberto said he would just visit Solima as often as three times a week to collect the payment for the property bought by the family.

“I go to their house every now and then, and she (Verose) would just give us P100 or P300. So far, what I got was only about P100,000,” Baluyos claimed.

Despite not getting the full amount yet, Baluyos said he was never mad at Solima and Verose.

“If I do something bad to them, the more we won’t be able to claim the full amount,” he insisted.

During the investigation, the police found out that Baluyos was Del Corro’s neighbor.

Devaras said they were looking at the land issue as a likely motive for the killing, even as “the investigation nonetheless continues.”

Giovanni Solima, the slain lawyer’s nephew, expressed gratitude to the police for arresting one of the suspects in less than 24 hours.

“We could not have the life of my uncle back, but we would want justice for him,” he said in an interview.

Giovanni said they have yet to finalize the date of Solima’s burial.

Solima’s wake is now being held at the St. Peter Memorial Chapels in New Imus St., Barangay Lorega San Miguel, Cebu City, according to a notice posted on Facebook on Tuesday night by the family of the slain lawyer.


Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, meanwhile, urged law enforcement authorities in Cebu to impose tighter security measures to ensure the safety of the people.

“The killings are done in a very bold manner, in this case, in his own home,” he lamented.

Davide said he knew Solima as a good man.

“I am saddened by his violent death,” the governor said. /WITH REPORTS FROM CORRESPONDENT ROSALIE O. ABATAYO AND INQUIRER.NET

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TAGS: falls, ONE, suspect

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