Mayor’s uncle gunned down-A A +A
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
AN uncle of Liloan Mayor Vincent Franco Frasco was shot in the head by an unidentified assailant outside a store in Barangay Poblacion, Liloan, Cebu early yesterday morning.
Marlito “Titi” Cañete, 50, died a few minutes after reaching a private hospital in Cebu City, said Insp. Leo Ty, the town’s police chief.
Police obtained a video footage from a CCTV camera installed across a bank, but had a hard time identifying the suspects because of its low resolution.
The attack happened at 7:45 p.m. while the victim was reading a tabloid outside the Boss Marsing Store owned by his cousin.
Suddenly, the gunman arrived and shot Cañete once in the head. The victim fell to the ground.
The assailant hurriedly crossed the street where his cohort was waiting on a motorcycle with no plate number. They fled toward Compostela town.
Three witnesses working at a shop selling motorcycle parts and accessories described the suspects as chubby and brown-skinned. The gunman’s head was shaved and he wore a black shirt and shorts. The driver wore a white helmet.
The incident caused a traffic build-up as curious motorists and onlookers tried to take a look at the crime scene, which was beside the town’s famous Titay’s store.
A 16-year-old girl, who worked in the convenience store, shouted for help. Within minutes, Cañete’s family found a vehicle, and his wife Liza, son Carlo, daughter Katrina and some relatives rushed him to the hospital.
The police chased but failed to locate the suspects.
Elements of the Crime Scene Investigation of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) found a slug from a .45 pistol at the crime scene.
An autopsy by Dr. Nestor Sator of the Regional Crime Laboratory showed Cañete was shot in the right side of his head, just above the ear.
“Milagro na lang ang mabuhi ani nga sitwasyon (It would take a miracle to survive a situation like this),” Sator told Sun.Star Cebu.
All angles are being considered by police, including the possibility that the attack could be politically-motivated or had to do with an illegal numbers game.
Cañete, who was reportedly the campaign manager of mayor Frasco, ran for mayor in 2004 against his relatives but lost. He was up against lawyer Achilles Cañete and former mayor Maria Sevilla. He had also served as secretary general of the Democracy of the Independent Liberal Conservative (DILC), one of the town’s parties.
In an interview, Antonio Cañete, the victim’s elder brother, said the victim used to place bets on illegal numbers game and attend cockfighting derbies.
“Wala gyud ko kahibaw kung naa ba na’y kontra akong manghod (I don’t know if he had any enemies),” he said.
Antonio, 52, couldn’t help but question why the attack was done just hours before the proclamation rally in Cebu City of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), the political party where his nephew, Mayor Frasco, belongs.
He said the political rivalry in their town is not that heated, since it’s only their relatives who are running for office. He said his brother was a good man.
“Dili gani ‘to kahibalo masuko (He never showed any anger),” he added. Some of their relatives also lamented the apparently lax implementation of the election gun ban, which took effect last Jan. 13.
The victim’s wife is a retired bank employee, his daughter works as a nurse, and his son works in the municipal hall.
Ty, when interviewed, said he will still verify all of the claims made by Cañete’s family and neighbors.
The town police will go to nearby gasoline stations in the north in case the suspects stopped by to refuel or were filmed by a CCTV camera.
Mayor Frasco declined to comment yesterday.
One of the victim’s neighbors, Maricel Montejo, 45, said she was saddened by Cañete’s sudden death.
“Buotan kaayo to siya. Adto ko pirmi manghuwam ug kwarta niya kung wala’y pambayad sa suga o sa eskwelahan (He was a kind man. He would lend me money when I had nothing for the electricity bill or tuition),” she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 13, 2013.