Below are five individual cases, made available for translation so far from SuperBalita, a bilingual newspaper in General Santos City, depicting how senseless deaths are continuously taking place there–which has worsened since the beginning of year 2008.
The local authorities, particularly the police, has since been unable to solve these cases, arrest those responsible and to prevent this incidents from taking place.
Killed for leading a teeners’ group
Date: May 12 at 2:20pm; at his residence
Victim: Epedilito Vallenti, 18; of block 1, Santiago Subdivision, Barangay (Village) Bula, General Santos City
Epedilito Vallenti was shot suddenly by a gunman who had approached him as he was standing outside their house. He suffered two gunshot wounds to his head and neck respectively. They attackers, riding on a motorcycle, were seen shooting the victim soon after coming close to him.
Epedilito’s father, Roger, was awakened by his children who had told him that their brother was shot. Roger immediately took his son towards the hospital for medical attention. Epedilito, however, died later at the General Santos City Hospital while being treated there.
“Wala lagi koy masulti sa binuhatan sa akong anak, basta giila man daw ni siya nga lider sa ilang grupo kay ang iyang mga barkada mga gagmay pa man sa iyaha, ambot unsay sala sa akong anak nganong nahimo sa mga suspek ang pagpusil. Hinuon, permi lang gyud ni siya nagalakaw matag gabii, istorbo man gani sa among pangatulog tungod kay mouli na siya kaadlawon na,” his father said of him.
Shot dead for lending motorcycle to robbers
Date: May 8 at 9:35am along Yakal street, Ecoland
Victim: Antonio Dacalos Oh, 35; of Sitio (sub-section of Barangay) Kalubihan, Ecoland, Davao City.
Antonio Dacalos Oh was shot dead by motorcycle riding gunmen allegedly over suspicions he himself was involved in a robbery incident when the motorcycle his family own had used by robbers.
Antonio was standing near a store along Yakal street, Ecoland when the attackers, hooded with balaclavas, shot him dead. He was together with his neighbor, Gerry Concon, when the attacker, without any word shot him at close range. He died on the spot due to fatal gunshot wounds to his head.
After the shooting, the gunmen had escape to unknown direction. Recovered from the crime scene were three empty shells from a .45 caliber pistol. It is said that Antonio’s killing could have been motivated by his supposed involvement in the robbery that took place in General Santos City days earlier to which his siblings had denied.
Breadwinner orphans five children
Date: April 27 at around 7pm in Purok Kulasi, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City
Victim: Danny Ramirez, 37; of Purok Matinabangon of the said village
Danny Ramirez was himself shot dead by gunmen also riding on a motorcycle. He had just left from his home telling his wife, Delia, that he would come back shortly after ferrying some passengers. Driving passenger motorcycle is where Danny earns his livelihood for his family.
It is said that as Danny was coming out from his village, he had been followed by his attackers riding on another motorcycle from the place where he had come from.
Immediately after getting a chance, they shot him dead at close range. The motorcycle Danny though has not taken –which is contrary to previous incidents of killings of drivers where attackers also took them away.
His wife Delia said of his husband’s death: “Wala ko magdahum nga patyon nila ang akong bana kay wala man kiniy dautang rekord sa among lugar. But-an man kining akong bana. Gani naningkamot siya nga maghabal-habal aron lang dunay income ug dunay ikapakaon sa among mga anak kay lima ka buok. Ang akong anak, unsaon man nako kini karon sa pagpadako nga wala na ang ilang amahan. (I never thought they would kill my husband. He had no criminal records in our place. He was a good man. He had been a responsible husband by working as driver to be able to feed our five children. How am I going to raise by children without a father?)
Sa ako lang sir wala ko masayod nganong gipatay nila ang akong bana (I really don’t know why they had to kill him)”, she further said in an interview.
Six slugs from a .45 caliber pistol had pierced into Danny’s head killing him instantly. The police, too, were able to recover the empty shells at the crime scene.
Murdered, robbed for his newly loaned bike
Date: April 21, at around 10pm Purok San Roque, Barangay Labangal, General Santos City
Victim: Steward Devenagracia, 22; of Purok Matinabangon of the same village
Steward Devenagracia, whose identity has not been known three days after he had been murdered, was shot dead while he was also ferrying his passengers. He was one of the many drivers who gad fallen victims to increasing incidents of motorcycle robberies wherein robbers also kill the driver.
Steward was last seen ferrying a female passenger from a wharf in Makar, of the same village, where he usually awaits for passenger, before he was found dead. Usually drivers are not suspicious of female passengers amidst the unabated killing of drivers. It was not immediately known though whether the woman was involved; but there are suspicious she could have been used as bait.
Steward suffered gunshot wounds to his head the pierced through his back.
When the shooting took place, villagers living nearby heard two gunshot wounds but were unable to recognize the identity of those who had killed him. They, too, were unable to identify the victim as he was lying dead to the ground. His dead body was first taken to a nearby Labajo Funeral Home where his relatives had identified only days later after he failed to come home.
Steward’s motorcycle, which was loaned by his family from an appliance center three days earlier, was also stolen by his attackers. He was wearing at the time a green jacket, a khaki short pant and a white shirt.
Steward’s mother said of him: “Nanginabuhian na ang akong anak bisan gabii aron daw dunay ikapalit og gatas sa iyang usa ka anak, kay kaslonon pa unta na sila sunod nga tuig apan napigaduhan lagi hinungdan nga sunod tuig pa ang ilang kasal, daan na man na siyang gisultihan nga moundang na lang sa iyang paghabal-habal kay daghan na ang gipamatay sa dakbayan pero bisan og usa wala pay nasulbad ang kapulisan, ingon niya sa ako nga wala na siya nagakompiyansa,” matud sa inahan.
Shot in front of his sister
Date: April 20 at 12:30am along Purok Jhonny Ang Paradise, Barangay City Heights
Victim: Roger Bagalangit, 23; of Purok Saludin, Barangay Labangal
Roger Bagalangit was shot dead in front of his sister, Resalie, shortly after coming out from a village where they had a drinking session along Jhonny Ang Paradise. They were waiting for a ride on their way home, when one of the attackers, armed with a .45 caliber pistol, suddenly appeared shooting Roger.
Roger was hit at the back of his head piercing through his forehead. His sister immediately took him to the Socsargen County Hospital but he had died on his way. His sister believes he was the attackers’ target since they did not harm her.
Soon after the shooting, the attacker was seen escaping together with another person onboard a single motorcycle waiting for him nearby.