TWO MORE CAUGHT
Talisay native admits he and cohort shot down German
by Apple Mae Ta-as
Three days after the shooting incident that claimed the life of a German engineer and injured two foreigners in a fast-food outlet in Talisay City, another man was arrested by authorities at dawn yesterday, bringing the number of captured suspects to three.
Supt. Rex Derilo, Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) deputy chief of the Police Regional Office, presented the second suspect, 21-year-old Ricci Edwin Embuscado Ramirez Jr. to media.
Derillo said Ramirez, nicknamed “JR”, admitted to him that he shot Engr. Henry Haffner along with a certain street thug known only as “Tata” who supposedly hired him.
The third suspect, 40-year-old Roger Cal, was arrested at dawn yesterday by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Derillo said Ramirez was arrested at his home in sitio Neighborhood, barangay Tabunok in Talisay City at 4 p.m. last Saturday.
Found in his possession were one .45 pistol, one magazine and two packs of substances suspected to be illegal drugs.
Derillo said they are investigating the possibility that a drug syndicate is involved in the incident.
“Ramirez disclosed to me… to us that he was indeed the person identified in the (closed-circuit TV footage) and he admitted that he joined in the shooting and he also disclosed some names,” Derillo said.
Last Friday dawn, two unidentified men figured in a heated argument with Frenchman Julian Millard and Indian national Cheten Saparaiya inside a McDonald’s outlet in Talisay City.
The men left the outlet but returned with three other armed men who fired shots inside the fast-food outlet, hitting Millard and Saparaiya as well as Haffner.
His girlfriend Sheila Jane Gimutao managed to bring him to the Talisay City District Hospital but he was transferred to the Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City where he died hours later.
Police said the assailants chased Haffner on motorcycles, mistaking him for Millard, who managed to avoid sustaining more gunshots by hiding in a restroom along with Saparaiya.
Haffner joined in relief operations during the earthquake in Bohol and supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013.
“According to JR, he didn’t know who the target was and he just came along with the suspects,” Derillo said.
He said Ramirez told them that “Tata” engaged Saparaiya and Millard in a heated argument.
“I was brought by Tata. I never expected that the shooting would take place. We are not close,” Ramirez said.
He claimed that Cal let him borrow the firearm used in the shooting.
“Ni-una og tira si Tata sir, nakapabuto ko ikatulo sa German. Siya man to ni-una, mao to abi nako mao to iyang kalalis (Tata fired first, sir. I fired the third shot at the German. He fired the first shot that’s why I thought Haffner was the man whom he argued with),” Derillo quoted Ramirez as telling him.
Ramirez said he went home after the incident. Cal later told reporters that he wasn’t involved in the shooting and claimed that Ramirez borrowed his motorcycle and brought him to the McDonald’s outlet in Talisay City.
“I’m a habal-habal (modified motorcycle) driver. I didn’t do anything wrong. I am JR’s friend but I won’t do anything like that because I have three children. I didn’t know what their plan was,” a tearful Cal said in Cebuano.
During the media briefing, Derilo showed still photos of Ramirez wearing a sleeveless undershirt or sando.
“Ang iyang ingon pag-execute na lang nila. Gigukod niya ang German ug iyang gitiwasan, pero tumba na daw pagbira niya (What he said was that he executed what he was told to do. He blocked the German and finished him off, but the German was already down when he shot him),” Derilo said.
Ramirez told the media that he was just a backup in the shooting.
Derillo said Ramirez promised to cooperate with them but added that the charges for illegal possession of firearms and illegal drugs will be pursued against him.
Talisay City police earlier arrested the first suspect, 40-year-old Allan Veloz, at his home in barangay San Isidro, Talisay City.
Supt. Reycel Carmelo Dayon, Talisay City police chief, said Veloz was identified by witnesses including Haffner’s fiancée Sheila Jane Gimutao, during the shooting.
Veloz denied involvement, saying he was at his home sleeping when the incident occurred. But Dayon said Veloz is a gun-for-hire who figured in a shooting incident with Talisay City police last January 15.
He said Gimutao identified Veloz as a lookout./With Correspondent Edison delos Angeles
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