RELATIVES of the couple who was shot dead and robbed in Barangay Ibabao, Mandaue City on Sunday, April 14, denied allegations that the victims were involved in the illegal drug trade.
"Akong anak naa sa Ginoo, Mormons na. Dili na moinum, dili manabako, nya mag-droga na hinuon? (My son has always been close to God. He is a Mormon. He does not drink or smoke, much more do drugs)," said Adelina Canes, 57, the mother of Michael Canes.
Michael and his wife, Fraldane, were gunned down by unidentified men while they were on their way home.
Their nine-year-old daughter survived the incident.
Adelina told Superbalita Cebu that she was affected by accusations made by police that her son and daughter-in-law were included in Mandaue City's drug watchlist.
Adelina said her son, the fifth of eight kids, lived an honest life along with his family.
A former worker for a cable company, Michael, along with his wife, started an online selling business before they ventured into selling ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing, Adelina said.
She said her son and daughter-in-law were so successful that there was one time they were able to earn P58,000 on a single transaction.
Adelina said their success was due to the trust given to them by their customers.
But she clarified that despite the huge income her son and daughter-in-law were able to get through their business, they only earn enough from the venture since until now, they only own a two-story house made of mixed materials.
Adelina also denied that her late husband was also involved in the illegal drug trade. Her husband died due to fatal heart attack last February.
But Police Colonel Julian Entoma, Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) director, reiterated their findings that Michael and his wife were included in the "unified drug watchlist" gathered by the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Entoma said Michael and his wife were part of the drug matrix, which included jailed drug suppliers Rustico Ygot and Joy Encila. The couple was also known by their circle as "Boss" and "Madame," respectively, said police.
"Dili mi gago nga mo-link lang dayon nila sa drugs. Ako panindigan na. Naa tay record ana. Ato na gitan-aw nga usa sa motibo, aron pag-ila sa ilang tinuod nga nipatay nila (We are not idiots to just link anyone to the illegal drug trade. I stand by my earlier statement. We have the records to prove it. We have checked every motive to determine who ordered for them to be killed)," Entoma told Superbalita Cebu.
Entoma suspected that what happened to Michael and his wife was not a mere "robbery incident."
Based on CCTV footages they gathered, Entoma concluded that the couple's murder was planned, including taking Michael's bag after killing him and leaving Fraldane's belongings behind.
Entoma also believe that aside from money, the gunmen were also after a particular item kept in Michael's sling bag.
Entoma said they are looking into some personalities behind the couple's murder, including a former police officer identified as Encila's protector.