A Cebuano actor, who was dressed as a gunman riding on a motorcycle, was shot dead by a tanod of barangay Parian, who acted too quickly upon seeing a man who was literally 'dressed to kill' the way the vigilantes of Cebu have been described by witnesses.
The victim was identified as Kirk Abella, 32 years old of barangay Punta Princesa, who was one of the actors in a movie that was being filmed late Saturday night.
Abella was playing the role of a killer and wore a bonnet to cover his face and was armed with a toy gun when he was shot by Edgar Cuizon, 51, of J.C. Zamora St., Parian.
Cuizon said that he did not know that a movie was being shot in the area when he spotted Abella and thought the man riding the motorcycle was about to kill someone for real.
The film being shot is entitled "Going Somewhere." It is a project of Alan Lyddiard Film based in London, United Kingdom.
Lyddiard himself picked Ibarra St. corner J.C. Zamora St. as a perfect place to shoot that scene of their movie, which was supposed to be about a drive-by shooting.
The shooting of the actor happened shortly after the director shouted "action."
The victim was hit on the back and was rushed to the Perpetual Succour Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.
Cuizon used a homemade caliber .357 revolver. He surrendered the weapon along with five live ammunition to Sr. Insp. Pepito Polestratos, who led the PNP personnel deployed in the area for security and crowd control.
Contrary to his claim that he was unaware of the film shoot, Cuizon was reportedly informed about it along with the other tanods, said Chief Insp. Alexis Relado, chief of Parian Police Station.
Cuizon was reportedly at the residence of barangay captain-elect Boy Nuñez, when somebody reported to them that an armed person was spotted.
The tanod reportedly went to the Parian Police Station and was told that there was the shooting of a film.
"Gi-warningan na 'na siya daan. Gipasabot siya sa desk officer nga naa'y nag-shooting diha. Basin ang imong pasabot nga armed person kanang ga-taping diha. Mga artista na sila. Gikuyogan pa siya ni Sr. Insp. Polestratos padung didto," the police station chief said.
Cuizon, however, denied being told about the film that was being shot.
He claimed to be sleeping below the barangay captain-elect's house when a man informed him about an armed person. He said he was resting to get ready to report to the barangay hall for his duty at 10 p.m.
He immediately went to the area. He said he did not bother to go first to the police station.
Upon arriving at the crime scene, he saw a man wearing a bonnet and was armed with a gun. He said that he shouted at the man to stop and identified himself as a tanod, but was ignored and the actors sped off as the director had shouted "action."
"Naguyod nuon ko sa ilang motor nya paghangad nako kay gation man ang iyang pusil sa akoa, mao tong mingpusil na lang ko," the suspect said while showing his wound on his right leg.
Asked why he has a firearm, the suspect said he only borrowed it, but he refused to identify the owner. Aside from the gun ban currently implemented, the law prohibits barangay tanods to bring firearms if they do not have the necessary permits and license.
"Alangan man og magdala ka og batuta nga armas man ang dala sa gi-report," said Cuizon, who has been a tanod for five years.
The suspect said he never knew that there was a movie being shot that time. He also allegedly did not see any policemen in the area when he arrived.
"Nagtuo jud ko na mamusil to siya. Nagtuo jud ko nga tinuod," he said while shaking his head.
But Relado said he dispatched at least six policemen in the area for the shooting of the movie.
"Iyaha sad nang alegasyon to defend himself. Denial man jud ang weakest form of evidence," Relado said.
Relado said Beverly Talledo, one of the producers, properly coordinated with them by sending him a letter asking for two policemen to secure the area while they were shooting the said scene.
"Duha ra gani ila gipangayo pero akong gi-unom kay busy street ra ba na dihang dapita nya considering na international film gud maong gitagaan g'yud nako og igong personnel with an official. Naa pa gani naka-park nga marked vehicle didto with the blinkers on," Relado said.
PO3 Geoffrey Gutual of the Homicide Section said charges of homicide and violation of the gun ban will be the possible charges that will be filed against the suspect.
A controversial former barangay captain of Medellin town was killed after he shot it out with policemen who came to arrest him in Sitio Dita, Barangay Pulangbato, Cebu City, yesterday morning.
Marianito "Manit" Yaun, 33, a barangay captain of Antipolo, Medellin, who was implicated several times for alleged illegal drug activities, died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen after he was hit by one of his arresting officers.
Chief Insp. Romeo Santander, chief of the Regional Special Operations Group of the Police Regional Office-7, said he received a report that two armed men, one of whom was Yaun, were seen in Dita.
Santander called up the officials of the Provincial Intelligence Investigation Branch of the Cebu Provincial Police Office to check if they were furnished with a copy of the warrant of arrest against the former barangay chief.
The warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Antonio Marigomen of the Regional Trial Court Branch 61.
After this was confirmed, Santander's team immediately went to the area where Yaun was spotted.
Santander was with four personnel of the PIIB including its chief, Supt. Rodulfo Albotra, four personnel of the Homicide Section and four other personnel from the Talamban Police Station.
The operating units arrived at the area around 11 a.m. and spotted Yaun playing "hantak" with four or five other men.
They were about to approach Yaun when the latter saw them and ran off, the others playing hantak with him also scampered away.
The policemen chased Yaun who then pulled out a gun from his pants and shot at them but missed. The policemen continued to chase the suspect but the latter fired at them twice more, forcing them to shoot back.
Yaun was hit in the abdomen and was rushed by the police to the North General Hospital where he died a few hours later.
Santander said they were prompted to shoot Yaun to prevent him from hurting any of the residents who were there that time.
A .45 cal. pistol was recovered from Yaun's possession.
Yaun was arrested last year for alleged possession of unlicensed firearms and is also suspected of being a distributor of illegal drugs in the fourth district of Cebu.
He was also allegedly arrested with his brother-in-law Eldie Briones for sniffing shabu inside a Ford Explorer.
Last October 24, someone tipped the Medellin Police Station that Yaun was involved in a shooting incident in Antipolo, Medellin, together with a certain Vicente Arriesgado Jr.
Police said around 2 p.m. Yaun and Arriesgado met at the house of a certain Jessie James Cabucos and after a heated argument Yaun suddenly shot Arriesgado in the thigh.
Arriesgado returned fire and shot up the motorcycle of Yaun.
Both suspects hurriedly fled after a team led by Insp. Bonifacio Arriesgado together with Army personnel arrived at the scene.
Later that afternoon Arriesgado was arrested inside the emergency room of the Daanbantayan District Hospital.
Two caretakers of a farm allegedly owned by a former mayor will possibly face double murder charges for reportedly killing two boys whom they mistook as thieves in Barangay Cubacub, Mandaue City.
SPO1 Jerwin Vejer of Mandaue's Investigation and Detective Management Bureau told The FREEMAN yesterday that they are thoroughly investigating the case and trying to determine if the farm owner will be included in charges that they will file.
There were reports that the two-hectare farm, which is being used to raise live-stock, is owned by a former mayor.
"Since minor ang gipatay, bugat gyud ang kaso thinking sa disposition sa mga bata nga wala'y capability nga makabawos, adding that Comelec gun ban pa karon," Vejer said.
Farm caretakers Lucas Taoy, 35, native of Barangay Lanitga, and Jason Laurente, 18 of Barangay Tacan, both of Carmen town, were arrested by elements of the Mandaue City Police Office on Saturday morning after being held responsible for the killing of Aljay Acuesta, 13, and Ellari Villarin, 14, both residents of Cubacub.
The kids, who were allegedly out to look for spiders, were shot by the suspects after allegedly mistaken for thieves who stole the GI sheet fences of the farm.
Police said they are also waiting for the farm owner to show up before their office to give his side on the incident.
According to Vejer, the victims could have died on Thursday afternoon which coincides with the witnesses' statement that they heard gunshots coming from the farm that same day.
The dead bodies were recovered almost midnight on Friday by the mother of Villarin, Emma Soco and Cubacub barangay councilman, Virgilio Gogo, near a barbed wire fence.
Villarin was found with three gunshot wounds to his abdomen while Acuesta died of two gunshot wounds to his chest.
Police recovered from the suspects .22 Beretta pistol with a loaded magazine, a Magnum revolver loaded with six bullets and a mobile phone own by Laurente which shows messages pointing to his involvement in the incident.
Vejer said the victims were both graduating students of Casili Elementary School and belonged to indigent families.
Under the City Social Welfare and Services Code, the city can provide at least P10,000 cash assistance to both victims but parents should go to the CSWS office first for necessary information on how to get the assistance.
Mandaue City information officer Roger Paller said it is up to the mayor if he would request to provide additional assistance for the family of the victims.
The team in charge of restoring the Plaza Independencia is attributing the delay of the restoration to the lengthy bidding process, as the P16.9 million contract for the first phase of the project has not yet been awarded to contractor.