Two men raked a coffee shop in Quezon City (Metro Manila) owned by a popular radio and television commentator with gunfire at past 1 a.m. on Friday.
No one was reported hurt in the incident, which happened hours after members of the Iglesia ni Cristo INC or Church of Christ) started massing at the Department of Justice in Manila to press for the ouster of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
The establishment’s owner, Anthony “Tunying” Taberna, is a member of the INC and is reportedly related to one of the personalities involved in a rift that rocked the church recently.
It is not yet known if the strife within the INC is linked to the shooting although investigators are looking into Taberna’s job as a commentator as a possible motive.
The coffee shop along Visayas Avenue in Barangay Vasra opened last week.
A closed-circuit television footage showed two men with handguns firing at the coffee shop, shattering its glass panels. Another footage shows one of the gunmen checking on the establishment’s security guard before drawing a gun from his waistband. The security guard ran for cover and was not harmed.
The perpetrators sped away in two waiting motorcycles after the shooting.
Police recovered at least 15 spent .45 caliber shells from the crime scene.
A journalist who is also a member of the INC posted on Facebook that Taberna purportedly received a text message from a “personality” denying involvement in the incident.
“Let me assure you Tunying na hindi namin tropa ang tumira sa resturant [sic]mo [that the gunmen who attacked your restaurant]are not from our group. Maayos ako kausap [I’m a nice guy]. Just let me know how I can help,” the message allegedly read.