Couple, in ‘land dispute,’ shot dead in house-A A +A
Monday, September 2, 2013
A LIVE-IN couple was shot dead in their house on a mountain barangay in Naga City last Saturday night.
Merlita Panlaan, 54, and her live-in partner Eduardo Prandas, 60, died immediately after they were shot several times by two unidentified men in Sitio Cabancalan in Barangay Cogon.
The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. last Saturday.
The police have yet to determine the motive behind the incident, but neighbors believed the victims’ murder may have been caused by several land disputes Panlaan is involved in.
PO1 Bobby Basabe of the Naga City Police Station said that around 7:30 p.m. last Saturday, the two unidentified suspects—both wearing black helmets and jackets—went behind Panlaan’s house.
Inside, Panlaan was watching television in their living room while Prandas was sleeping inside their bedroom. Two of Panlaan’s younger daughters, ages 15 and 10, were in their rooms.
The two suspects entered the house and proceeded to the living room. Upon seeing Panlaan, one of the suspects then shot her, hitting her at the jaw and lower left side of her neck.
Panlaan’s 10-year-old daughter came out to check on what happened. But upon seeing the suspects, the girl was pushed away.
The suspects then proceeded towards the bedroom. Inside, the two men shot Prandas several times, fatally hitting him in the head.
After shooting the victims, the two men then went back to the back door and fled.
Four empty shells of .45 caliber and a deformed slug was found by police in the crime scene.
Cogon Barangay Chief Emi Talandoron believes that Panlaan’s current land disputes with some people may have been related to the incident.
Talandoron revealed yesterday that their barangay has records showing Panlaan’s numerous cases filed against people over some disputes on her property.
In fact, some of Panlaan’s land dispute cases had reached the Regional Trial Court.
Even Panlaan’s eldest son, Bryan, also admitted that her mother’s land troubles may have been involved in her death.
When interviewed yesterday, Bryan said he was at work during the incident.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 02, 2013.