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Friday, September 28, 2007

Rape suspect gunned down

9-19-2007 Philippines

One of the suspects in the brutal rape-slay of a 13-year-old in Bago City, Negros Occidental, was shot dead on Monday, in what the police described as a "Sparrow-type of operation" of the New People's Army.

The victim identified as Ivan Calero, 37, was gunned down by two suspects armed with .45 and 9mm caliber pistols, and the incident was witnessed by his 6-year-old child, in Purok Helga, Brgy. Don Jorge Araneta, Bago City.

Calero died from four gunshot wounds in the head and chest, initial police investigations showed.

Calero, a trisikad driver, was among the three persons invited for questioning by the Bago police, in connection with the brutal rape-slay of Ma. Teresa Medrano in the barangay on June 20.

Police investigations also indicated that Calero, who was driving a trisikad, accompanied by his minor child, was on his way home, when the suspects flagged them down.

Without any provocation, the two unidentified armed men opened fire at Calero, but spared his daughter, police said.

The suspects did not even bother to cover their faces with bonnets or handkerchiefs to hide their identities when they shot Calero, in the presence also of other witnesses.

Responding Bago policemen recovered four empty shells of .9mm and .45 caliber pistols from the scene.

Supt. Alex Belonio, Bago police chief, yesterday said charges had not been filed against Calero, in connection with the rape-slay of Medrano, for lack of evidence.

The house of Calero is about 200 meters away from the creek where the decomposing body of Medrano placed in a sack was discovered by a rice farmer on June 20.

The two companions of Calero, identified as Jose Sedayon and Efren Fria, who were also invited for questioning, were later released by the Bago police after witnesses failed to identify them.

Police investigations showed that Medrano had four hack wounds in the nape and on the left and right side of her face, two fractured ribs and right lower jaw, hematoma in both knees and bite marks on her left breast, aside from signs of being molested.

PO1 Calixto Galido, Bago police investigator, said the killing of Calero was done in a professional manner.

The Bago police is looking into the possibility that the killing may be related to the killing of Medrano and was initiated, either by a "vigilante group", by insurgents, or persons who wanted to silence him.

Testimonies gathered by the Bago police from witnesses also showed that the two gunmen who were accompanied by two others and fled on board two motorcycles, are strangers to the place.*GPB ..more.. by GILBERT BAYORAN

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