Persons of interest in two Cebu City shootings identified
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City police have identified the four persons of interest (POI) in the two separate shooting incidents in Cebu City last week.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office, said investigators already have persons of interest on the two separate killings involving two men last Friday and Saturday evening (June 10, 11, 2022) in barangays Duljo Fatima and Sambag II.
The latest incident happened in Sitio Lower Kawayan, Barangay Sambag 2. Police identified the victim as Nicolas Laurente, of legal age, a resident of the Barangay Capitol Site. Laurente was shot once but the bullet did not pierce his head.
As per the knowledge of the police, the victim is recuperating in a hospital here.
Rafter said that investigators have identified two suspects and are working to locate them for their possible arrest. Identities of these suspects are withheld pending their manhunt operation.
“Meron tayong POI, dalawa yang hitman natin. Kilala sa alyas pero nakuha info taga saan,” said Police Captain Jefferson Sinfuego, the deputy officer of the Abellana Police Station.
(We have two POIs, the alleged hitmen. We only knew him by aliases but we received information about their addresses.)
Sinfuego said they already have in custody the alleged spotter of the two gunmen in the Sambag 2 incident.
Sinfuego said this minor spotter, who is actually a relative of the victim, guided the shooters in the area. He fed the suspects information about the situation in the sitio.
“Ang nangyari is merong spotter na kamag-anak rin nila. Na aresto natin, nasa kustodiya natin. Nakita natin sa cellphone, conversation [between suspects],” Fuego said.
(What happened is that the spotter is also a relative of the victim. We already rescued him and he is under our custody. We also checked the cellphone and found their conversations [with the suspects] there.)
Police now believe that the gunmen were only paid to do the crime and that the alleged mastermind of this killing is a relative of the victim who is behind bars at the Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan. Family conflict may be the motive, police said.
This conflict allegedly stemmed from issues on land dispute in their province in Surigao.
Meabwhile, Rafter said they also have considered the case of Morris Anabiza of Barangay Duljo Fatima as cleared after investigators identified the suspect behind his killing.
Anabiza was killed while he was playing computer games in a computer shop located just beside their house on Friday evening, June 10, 2022.
Rafter said that the victim has been previously engaged in theft incidents in the area. She further said that the victim was recently released from jail.
She added that the family told them that they will no longer pursue filing a case against the suspect.
Rafter assured the public that these two shooting incidents were isolated cases and that the city remains safe.
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