Family feud: In-laws suspects in murder of former Batangas vice mayor's widow

BATANGAS, Philippines – Three suspects have been arrested following the discovery of a cadaver of a woman near the shore of Taal lake last June 3.

Authorities identified the victim as 55-year old Edelina Ramos, the widow of former Sto Tomas town vice mayor Ferdinand Ramos.

Charged with murder last June 7, Friday, were Joan Zara Ramos, the victim’s daughter-in-law; Florina Ramos, the sister-in-law; and gunman Jerry Rabano. All 3 are in police custody.

According to the report by Police Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Balauag, chief of Lipa City, a daughter of the victim, whom he identified as alias "Angel," witnessed the killing but remained silent because she was too scared.

Angel told the police that around 6 pm on June 2, as her older brother Ferdinand Ramos Jr and other siblings were drinking, she was with her mother watching TV.

Around 11 pm, Angel said "while she was going downstairs, she saw suspect Joan Ramos (wife of her brother Ferdinand Jr) enter their house" accompanied by an unidentified man wearing a leather jacket.

"She then witnessed the said male person shoot her mother twice. Edelina, who fell to the floor, was again shot by the gunman on her head," said Balauag's report.

Angel said Joan, the gunman and a third unidentified man carried the body of Edelina into her father's pickup. Before the suspects left, they threatened Angel not to tell anyone or she would get hurt. 

Angel also said Joan called the gunman "Jerry."  While looking at the police rogues' gallery later, Joan pointed to the photo of Jerry Rabano as the one who accompanied Joan the night on the killing. 

Sworn statements from Edelina’s other children revealed that their late parents were not in good terms for quite some time. They were also aware that their aunt Florina held a grudge against their mother and was planning to kill her.

Earlier, Balauag said in his report, Edelina was the alleged suspect in the killing of her husband and former vice mayor last July 14, 2018.

Ferdinand Ramos was shot in the nape by an unidentfied assailant and was in coma for 9 months. 

Batangas provincial director Police Colonel Edwin Quilantes, commended Balauag and his team. "We are proud of the excellent work of our investigators on this complex case. They have pursued relentlessly over and beyond their routine that resulted to immediate solution of the incident and have brought into custody the suspects believed to be involved in this case,” Quilantes said. – Rappler.com