THE mother vouched for the character and livelihood of her son who was robbed and shot dead together with his wife on April 14 in Barangay Ibabao, Mandaue City.
Michael Canes had no vices, was God-fearing and was not into drugs, his mother Adelina Canes said.
Michael, 27, and his wife Fraldine, 24, were in the clothing retail business and were not in the illegal drug trade as police had accused them to be, Adelina said.
But Police Colonel Julian Entoma, Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) director, said both Michael and Fraldine were in the “unified drug watchlist” of the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
They had been under surveillance and their involvement in illegal drugs had been verified, Entoma said.
But Adelina said Michael’s upbringing and fear of God deterred him from getting involved in drugs.
“Akong anak naa sa Ginoo; Mormons na. Dili na moinom, dili manabako, nya mag-droga na hinuon? (My son had always been close to God. He was a Mormon. He did not drink or smoke, much more do drugs),” said Adelina, 57.
Michael, the fifth of her eight children, lived an honest life, she said.
Adelina told Superbalita Cebu that she was hurt by the police pronouncement that Michael and Fraldine were in the drug watchlist.
Michael was driving his motorcycle with his wife Fraldine and their nine-year-old daughter as passengers at about 11 p.m. of April 14, Sunday, when two men riding in tandem sidled up to them, shot them dead, then grabbed Michael’s sling bag.
Their daughter survived.
Michael, a former worker for a cable company, and Fraldine started out with online selling then proceeded to selling ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing that made them successful, Adelina said.
Adelina said their success was due to the trust given to them by their customers.
Michael and Fraldine got by with their business but were able to build a two-storey house made of mixed materials, Adelina said.
Adelina, a widow, also denied that her husband had been involved in illegal drugs. A heart attack killed her husband last February.
But to the police, the young Canes couple were part of the drug matrix that included jailed suppliers Rustico Ygot and Joy Encila.
Mandaue City police chief Entoma said Michael and Fraldine were known in the drug circle as “Boss” and “Madame.”
“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,” Entoma said.
(The police are not stupid to just link them to the illegal drug trade. I stand by my earlier statement. We have the records to prove it. We are looking into the drug angle as one of the possible motives so we can determine who ordered the hit.)
Entoma believes that the killings of Michael and Fraldine were not a case of “robbery.” Based on CCTV footage the police have gathered, Entoma concluded that the couple’s murder was planned, including the taking of Michael’s bag after killing him and leaving Fraldine’s belongings behind.
Entoma also suspected that aside from money, the gunmen were after a particular item kept in Michael’s sling bag that they did not want the police to find.
Entoma said they are looking into some personalities behind the couple’s murder, including a former police officer identified as Encila’s protector. (From FMD of SuperBalita Cebu, JKV)