BUTUAN CITY: Unidentified assailant(s) shot dead a sexagenarian couple, a fish vendor and hurt a minor for superstitiously believing that victims allegedly practiced a form of “witchcraft” at a hinter municipality of Surigao del Sur, a police report said.
Surigao del Sur police in its belated report to their regional headquarters here said that Quirico Ramal, Barangay Chairman of Brgy. Carromata, San Miguel in Surigao del Sur, reported to San Miguel Police Station at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday about a shooting incident which transpired in Purok 1 of the said village.
Surigao del Sur police in their report identified the couple victim as Tranquilino M. Cinto, 65; his wife Lucena, 65; farmers and residents of the said place and Maricho H. Ratonel, 50; a fish vendor and resident of Purok Mangga, Brgy. Badong, Tago in Surigao del Sur and a 12-year old minor Mae (not her real name).
San Miguel police in their investigation gathered that the suspect (s) were able to enter the dwelling of the couple’s room by breaking two spans of glass jalousie windows using a wooden piece. The suspect(s) having gained entry possibly fired first on victim Tranquilino Cinto while he was asleep on his bed. The suspect(s) then went out from the room to the sala and met Lucina Cinto and Maricho Ratonel who came out from another room to verify what had happened and to find out the source of the gunfire. The two were also shot killing both instantly. The minor was also hit by a stray bullet on her left knee and was brought to San Miguel Community Hospital for immediate medical treatment.
On Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m. scene of the crime operative (SOCO) team of the Surigao del Sur Crime Laboratory Office together with the Provincial Investigation and Detective Management personnel led by PInsp. Emmanuel P. Isiang who conducted the crime scene processing and investigation recovered from the crime scene 4 fired bullets of Caliber .45 pistol, 5 fired cartridges of Caliber .45 pistol, a misfired cartridge of Cal. 45, a latent print and an improvised Molotov bomb containing gasoline.
Police also gathered from the residents in the area that among the assailant(s) motive might be a retaliation triggered by the superstitious belief that the victims allegedly were engaged in some form of “witchcraft practice.” The police however said that they are also following other angles or possible motives of the said shooting and to ascertain the identity of the assailants. PNA