Brother-in-law kills farmer, pregnant daughter over uprooted coconut tree
CEBU CITY, Philippines — An altercation over an uprooted coconut tree ended in the fatal shooting of a farmer and his pregnant daughter, and the wounding of the farmer’s other daughter in Barangay Cadulawan, Minglanilla town in southern Cebu at past 5 a.m. today, May 13.
The suspect, the brother-in-law of the farmer, was arrested in his house a few hours later in the barangay.
Police Captain Kalvin Jomari Golitod of the Minglanilla Police Station identified the dead victims as Alfredo Herbias, 67; and his daughter, Marjorie Caparida, 30.
Golitod said that Caparida was seven months pregnant.
Where they were hit
“Itong tatay ang natamaan sa kanyang dibdib. Itong buntis sa mukha talaga ito binaril,” said the police captain.
(The father was hit in the chest. The pregnant woman was really shot in the face.)
Golitod also said that the third victim, Florgen Bastatas, 35, who is the eldest daughter of Alfredo, was also wounded in the attack.
Bastatas was shot in the stomach.
The victims were rushed to the Minglanilla District Hospital but the attending physician declared Alfredo and Caparidas dead on arrival while Bastatas was transferred to the Vicente Sotto Medical Center.
Brother-in-law of farmer-victim
Golitod said that the suspect, Vergilio Sayago, 62, said that he and Alfred tried to settle their differences, especially on the uprooted coconuts, in the barangay once, but this was not resolved.
Initial Investigation showed that at past 5 a.m. today, May 13, Sayago confronted Alfredo in his house about an uprooted coconut tree in Sayago’s lot.
Witnesses said that Sayago allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Alfredo.
Sayago also then shot Alfredo’s daughters.
Golitod said that the gun used by the suspect was a paltik .357 Magnum revolver.
The Police Captain said that Sayago claimed that he bought the gun in Naga City.
Golitod said double murder and frustrated murder charges would be filed against Sayago.
Brother-in-law: How it happened
Sayago, for his part, also said during an interview with dyHP that when he confronted Alfredo he made sure that he had with him a gun.
He said that he just wanted to be sure of his safety.
“Ako siyang (Alfredo) giingnan nganong wa ka kahibawo? Nganong imo naman sang giibot ang lubi?,” said Sayago.
(Why don’t you know [about the uprooted tree]? Why did you uproot the coconut tree?)
But Alfredo told him that he did not know about it.
Sayago, however, said that he did not believe Alfredo because the farmer’s house was just near where the uprooted coconut was planted.
But then, Sayago claimed that Alfredo’s daughters and his wife joined the altercation.
Sayago also claimed that he started shooting when he saw that his sister was allegedly bringing with her a bolo.
Police Captain Golitod said that Sayago was arrested in his house and was detained at the Minglanilla Police Station detention cell pending the filing of charges.
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