Street carolers from Punta Princesa found dead in Mandaue City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Ryan Tañega and Stephen Balbuena were among those who embarked early on Christmas caroling trips, taking advantage of the Filipinos’ love to embrace the Christmas spirit as the “ber” months begin.
Like many street carolers their age or those even younger, they prefer to do it on board public utility jeepneys (PUJs) or when these vehicles stop to pick up passengers or when PUJs halt for the stop traffic sign.
Both residents of Barangay Punta Princesa in Cebu City, Tañega, 25, and Balbuena, 24, usually set off to the streets together.
But on Saturday evening, September 21, Tañega and Balbuena were found lifeless in the shrubby roadside of the hinterland sitio of Capasanan in Barangay Casili, Mandaue City, about 14 kilometers away from their homes.
Police Corporal Cyrus Buot, of the Canduman Police Station of the Mandaue City Police Office, said a councilman of Barangay Casili informed their station about the dead persons on the area early evening on Saturday.
Both Tañega and Balbuena sustained gunshot wounds to their foreheads, necks, and chests.
Sometime past 9 a.m. today, Sunday, September 22, a group of people went to the Canduman police to inquire about the two men found lifeless in Casili, as they might be their relatives who failed to return home on Saturday night.
Buot said they told the group to proceed to the Rolling Hills Funeral Homes in the city and they positively identified the bodies as those of their kin.
According to Buot, an older sister of Balbuena informed the police that the two men were jobless but had recently started to make a living through street caroling.
Buot said they have yet to look into the possible motive in the killing of the two young men.
While they could not as yet pinpoint if Tañega and Balbuena were killed in the area or were just dumped there, the police have recovered three empty shells of a caliber .45 pistol in the vicinity of the place where the two bodies were found.
This was the fourth time that bodies of were discovered in Sitio Capasanan since July 2018, according to Buot.
“Mingaw gyud kaayo na siyang dapita. Magabii ug kadlawon, naa na gyud mi mga tawo nga magroving diha pero usahay ang nagpatrol ra pod ang bantayan,” said Buot.
(The area is very isolated. During the night or at dawn, we have personnel that make rounds in the area but sometimes, the bad elements are also just keeping an eye on the patrolling police.)/elb
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