MASBATE CITY, Masbate: Three men died, one of them beheaded, when the black Toyota Hi-Lux van they were riding was ambushed at about 12:10 p.m. on Saturday in Sitio Lumbang, Barangay Usab in this city.
Senior Supt. Jesus Martirez, Masbate Provincial Police Office officer-in-charge-director, on Sunday identified one of the victims as Sammy Suplito.
One dead was unidentified while another one could not be identified because he was beheaded.
The beheaded victim, Martirez said, appeared to be the driver, whose head could not yet be found.
He said the Hi-lux van, with plate number YI7159, was owned by Jesus “Isong” Amaro of Barangay Luy-a, Aroroy town, who was among those murdered inside their residence last week by armed men who barged into the house and massacred him and three others—including his son Boyet.
Now came the ambush on the group of Suplito, a brother-in-law of Amaro, who owned a small gold refinery in Aroroy, a gold-rich town.
Martirez cited an initial report saying the victims were going back home to Aroroy when they were blocked by a white Toyota Hi-Ace van and peppered with bullets by its occupants.
Witnesses said the vehicle of the victims moved backward, trying to evade the suspects but the latter continued to pump bullets at them.
Police found the decapitated body of the driver some 20 feet behind their vehicle.
They did not immediately open the victims’ vehicle to recover the bodies of the other two victims for fear that a bomb might have been planted inside.
While police were gathering pieces of evidence, the cellphone of the driver kept on ringing, Martirez said.
They theorized that the driver could have shot back as they found a magazine of .45-caliber pistol in his hand.