Slain evangelist mistaken for a government informant
ANTI-drug crusader Crisostomo Maternal Jr., a Christian evangelist, was killed because he was mistaken to be a government informant, police said yesterday.
Supt. George Ylanan, deputy director for operation of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said Maternal, a pastor of the Christian Baptist Church in Barangay Bonbon, Cebu City who was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding assailants on Sunday, had received death threats supposedly because he informed authorities about the drug peddlers operating in the village.
Days before his death, Maternal was in the company of soldiers who were in Bonbon to take part in a Brigada Eskwela project, a Department of Education program where volunteers help in the pre-school opening clean up or minor repairs of public schools buildings and classrooms.
After the school activity, Maternal had lunch with the soldiers and this might have been misconstrued by the village’s drug dealers as the pastor telling on them, Ylanan said.
Maternal was also a member of the Community Investigative Support (CIS), an anti-crime group organized by Samuel Pagdilao, the retired former chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Ylanan added.
Maternal was driving his motorcycle along a road on Bonbon’s Sitio Biasong when he was shot in the head by two men riding in tandem on another motorcycle.
Among the suspects was a drug peddler who had eluded authorities in a recent anti-drug operation in the area, Ylanan said.
Incoming Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, interviewed over dyAB yesterday, also said that Maternal’s killers had been identified and that the police were now after them.
Osmeña, who was briefed yesterday by the police on the status of Maternal’s case, said there was no need to offer a cash reward for information that could lead to the arrest of Maternal’s killers since they were already identified.
Maternal was also a leader of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), revealed Cebu City Acting Mayor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña, the wife of the incoming mayor.
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