San Fernando cops looking into “warnings” received by slain couple

By: Pegeen Maisie Sararana - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | February 15,2022 - 04:11 PM
San Fernando Police Station

The San Fernando Police Station | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — San Fernando police are now verifying reports that the Baringui-an couple had earlier been warned by some acquaintances “to always be careful” before they were killed on Sunday.

Police Senior Master Sergeant Herbert Pananganan, the case investigator, said they have yet to ascertain if the warnings would constitute death threats.

The couple, incumbent Balungag barangay councilor Ma. Louela Dela Cerna Baringui-an and her husband, Pedro, were killed on Sunday evening, February 13 by at least five men in bonnets who barged into their house and peppered them with bullets.

The victims reside in Sitio Tapok-Tapok, Barangay Panadtaran, San Fernando town southern Cebu.

The suspects also allegedly took the couple’s money, jewelry, and some items, police said.

However, Pananganan said they still could not give the total amount of the looted items as they are still investigating the crime.

Because of the missing money and items, the San Fernando police have included robbery as among the motives for the killing of the two victims aside from politics, personal grudge, and gambling.

According to their background check, Pananganan said the two victims were served with warrants of arrest last 2017 for theft and frustrated murder. He added that the victims were able to post bail and were freed.

“Based sa amoang record, gikasuhan ni silag frustrated murder, duna ni silay warrant of arrest year 2017, na serve gyud to sya unya na gawasnon sila pinaagi sa piyansa, frustrated murder and theft…Duha ka case number Branch 16 and Branch 9 RTC Cebu City,” Pananganan said.

Pananganan added that they are also looking closely into the above cases hoping to get leads on the possible motive of the gruesome murder.

“Naa pod ni silay connection anang tigbakay and hantak. Kay kini iyang bana, allegedly sikat nga bangkero pod ba, especially during sa wa pay pandemic. Sa pagkakaron, amo pani gi validate og pag ayo para ma determine gyud og unsa ang motive,” he added.

Pananganan said they are still looking for security cameras from nearby establishments since the house of the victims didn’t have one.

As to the getaway vehicle, the police official said witnesses told them that the vehicle bore no plate number.

This is the area in the house of the victims where their wake will be held.

NO LEADS YET

As of Tuesday, February 15,  Pananganan admitted that they still have no solid leads yet on the identity of the suspects since they were wearing bonnets when they committed the crime.

Witnesses also told police that the suspects allegedly claimed they were military personnel.

“Pung pa sa mga witness, nagpaila man gud nga military personnel. Before sila gipamusil, dunay ongoing nga alleged negotiations which is nadungog lang sa mga witnesses but di sila [ka specify] og unsa to basta like for example, mura bag areglo ba. Nadungog nila from the victim nga areglohon lang mao to nga nihatag og kwarta,” he said.

“Nagpaila nga military personnel mi. Niari mi diri kay naa nireport nga daghan mog armas. Mao nang intro,” he added.

The couple was with their two children and around five close friends when the incident happened. The victims’ children and the other companions were allegedly ordered by the suspects to stay inside while the victims were taken outside where they were killed.

Pananganan said that they are still waiting for the report from the Scene of Crime Operatives (SOCO) to know how many gunshot wounds the victims sustained.

He also revealed that the police recovered eight empty shells of unverified firearms at the crime scene.

LOVING PARENTS, RELATIVES

Based on accounts of some relatives and friends of the victims, the two were loving parents to their three kids and are always willing to help anyone.

CDNDigital will not disclose the names of their relatives and friends for safety purposes.

It was also learned that on Sunday or the day the victims were killed, they went to Barangay Balungag, a mountain barangay in San Fernando, and distributed goods there.

It was past 8 pm when they arrived home and as they were preparing for dinner, the five suspects arrived.

Pananganan added that the victims reportedly negotiated with the suspects for a few minutes before they were taken outside of their house and shot.

As of this posting, relatives have started to prepare the area in the victims’ house where their wake will be held.

CDN Digital tried to get statements from the immediate family of the victims but has yet to receive any response.        /rcg

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TAGS: Baringui-an couple, Cebu‬, couple killed, death threats, killers in bonnets, Ma. Louela Dela Cerna Baringui-an, Murder, Pedro Baringui-an, San Fernado police, warnings

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