Police investigators said one of two gunmen moved toward the son of Cagayan de Oro 1st District Representative Rolando Uy to pump the sixth and last bullet into the victim as he laid down on a folding chair at a quarry site in a secluded area in the city.
The twin midday murders committed on Thursday, November 11, were seen as the first possible election-related violence in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao ahead of the 2022 elections. One of the victims belonged to a political family, and his father is a major bet for city mayor.
The 45-year-old Roland Sherwin “Tawee” Uy already sustained five gunshot wounds inflicted when another gunman came to fire another shot at the victim in Zone 1, Barangay Pagatpat, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) spokesperson Major Evan Viñas said on Friday, November 12.
Viñas said the victim, the eldest of the Uy siblings, had gunshot wounds to the torso, arms, and head.
“This was the initial result of the police investigation on the crime scene,” Viñas said.
He said Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) found eight empty shells from caliber .45 pistols at the crime scene.
“Uy died of six gunshot wounds while Pabalan was shot to the body and head,” Viñas said.
Crime scene investigators said five of the bullets in Uy’s body were fired from the same gun while the sixth bullet was from another pistol, the weapon used on Pabalan.
Viñas said this made investigators conclude that there was more than one gunman and that a second one finished off the already dying Uy.
A witness, who was in a toilet, said the gunmen fled on a motorcycle after the shooting.
‘Very cruel and senseless’ killings
Authorities organized a task force composed of members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and COCPO to investigate the deaths of Uy and his septuagenarian quarry caretaker, Samuel Pabalan.
Viñas said Northern Mindanao police chief Brigadier General Rolando Anduyan, would need to finalize and approve the task force’s composition before it starts its work.
Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno has announced a reward for anyone who could provide useful information that could lead to the identification and arrest of suspects, but he has yet to specify the amount as of this posting.
Moreno, who rushed to the crime scene on Thursday, called the murders “very cruel and senseless.”
“It was so barbaric that I could not believe it happened in our city,” Moreno told reporters during his press briefing on Friday.
The mayor then proceeded to the Uy family’s home, embraced the grieving congressman, and told him, “Be strong.”
“How can anyone even think of doing something like that? I was at a loss for words. I didn’t know what to say. I’m also a father and I felt hurt, too. I was in tears at some point,” Moreno said. – With reports from Herbie Gomez/Rappler.com
Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.