Grieving ‘wife’ on Basak shooting: What pushed ‘hubby,’ caring father, to kill driver?
CEBU CITY, Philippines — What drove her common law husband, Rolando Castillas, to kill a fellow habal-habal driver, Sonny Sollano?
This is one of the questions that has bothered Anita Tirol, 52, as she searched for answers about why her Castillas did what he did.
Tirol said that she was hoping that the police investigation on the tragic May 24 shootings along Tamiya Road in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City would shed light on her partner’s actions.
“Gusto gyud ko makahibawo kung unsa, asa ang tinuod,” said Tirol.
(I want to know the truth about what happened — the reason behind his actions.)
A grieving and baffled Tirol said she wanted to know this because this was not the live in partner that she knew.
Tirol, a sewer, described Castillas, her live-in partner of 29 years, as a friendly man and a caring father.
She said that she did not even know that he had a .45 caliber pistol which he used in killing Sollano during the May 24 shooting.
“Para nako, di gyud ko maka (believe) kay si Rolando, daghan man siya’g amigo, unya maayo man siya mo (treat) sa iya mga amigo,” said Tirol.
(I find it hard to believe that Rolando did what he did because he has a lot of friends, and he has treated his friends well.)
Castillas left behind his common-law wife and his two grown sons, whose ages are 22 and 26 years old.
When asked about allegations about the alleged feud and the alleged threats between two habal-habal drivers’ associations in the Tamiya Road area, Tirol said she heard about some of the stories but she did not know if these were true.
According to a police report, they were investigating these allegations with regard to the May 24 shooting incident in Barangay Basak because the dead victim, Sollano, was the president of a habal-habal association while the dead suspect, Castillas, was a member of another habal-habal group operating in the area.
Police Master Sergeant Joseph Cutanda, lead investigator of the case, confirmed to CDN Digital in a phone interview on May 25, that Castillas was indeed a member of another habal-habal drivers group that was not headed by Sollano.
However, Cutanda of the Lapu-Lapu Police Station 4 said that they had yet to confirm if both groups did have a standing feud.
Read more: Lapu-Lapu City cancels contract with CLAF
Cutanda also said that they found out that Castillas was a member of the City of Lapu-Lapu Allied Forces (CLAF), a group whose contract was terminated by the Lapu-Lapu City government in 2018 amid reports that most of its members were allegedly involved in illegal activities.
The CLAF was formed in 2016 to assist police in their anti-illegal drug operations in the barangays and as a force multiplier.
In 2018, Castillas also joined the City Traffic Management System (CTMS) as a traffic enforcer.
The CTMS is the Lapu-Lapu City government’s traffic management body.
When he was not on duty as a traffic enforcer, Castillas would moonlight as a habal-habal driver.
During the tragic shooting incident, Castillas was not working as a traffic enforcer because his shift was still at 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. that day.
At 10 a.m. that day, an armed Castillas shot dead Sollano, who was waiting for passengers along Tamiya Road.
As Castillas tried to flee the crime scene on his motorcycle, he was confronted by Police Patrolman Jacinto Sagarino, who was then manning a police outpost nearby and rushed to the area when he heard shots being fired.
But Castillas instead of surrendering pointed his gun at Sagarino, who was forced to shoot Castillas, killing him.
The shooting incidents were captured in security cameras in the area.
Sollano’s body was brought to Mahal Ko Funeral homes in Cordova town, while Castillas’ body was brought to Westland Funeral homes in Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City.
Meanwhile, Police Colonel Limuel Obon, Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) chief, said that Patrolman Sagarino had been relieved from his post for security reasons.
In earlier interviews, Obon also said that Sagarino would be commended for his quick response to the shooting incident./dbs
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