THE live-in partner of Vanzant Navales, who was among those who died in a shooting incident in Barangay Sambag I, Cebu City last January, has testified in court on the circumstances of the incident.
In her testimony, Christy Mae Estoce said Vanzant went to the house of the Bacaltos family to talk to Michael.
An early morning shootout between members of the Bacaltos and Navales families last Jan. 21 left three people dead, including Vanzant and Edwin and Shaun Bacaltos.
Vincent is facing charges of homicide for allegedly killing Shaun while Michael Bacaltos is accused of homicide for the death of Vanzant.
During the hearing on Monday, May 20, Estoce said she, Vanzant and two other friends saw Michael last Jan. 21, a day after their encounter in a bar.
While on their way to eat, Estoce said they saw Michael in a pick-up truck on Imus Road. Vanzant opened the vehicle’s window to greet Michael.
Michael responded to Vanzant but when they reached the stoplight near the University of San Carlos on P. del Rosario St., Michael rammed their vehicle, Estoce told the court.
Because of the incident, Michael and Vanzant got mad, she said.
Estoce said they dropped their plan to eat and went home instead. She pleaded with Vanzant to calm down.
Since he did not listen to her, Estoce said she had to call Vanzant’s older brother, Vincent, and ask him to pacify Vanzant. Vincent told her to keep the car keys.
Estoce said shortly after Vincent arrived in their house, she and Vincent went out to buy food and drinks. When they got home, Vanzant managed to get the car keys and drive to the Bacaltoses’ house.
Estoce said she, Vincent and three others immediately followed Vanzant.
While the Navales brothers were outside the Bacaltoses’ house in Sambag I, Estoce said she stayed inside the car and decided to take a video because Alma, the mother of Michael, was throwing stones.
Edwin, the father of Michael, was also outside the house holding a firearm.
“I felt terrified. I did not expect that he would be bringing a firearm with him. I was thinking that they would just talk. I heard shots being fired. I stopped recording the video when I heard gunshots and went outside to check on Vanzant,” Estoce told the court.
A copy of the video was presented during the hearing.
Estoce was the first witness presented by the Navales camp.
Estoce said she saw Vanzant lying on the road but she was not able to go near him because she saw Michael holding a gun and shooting at their direction.
In an interview, lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan of SALiGAL Law, counsel for the Navales family, said the testimony of the girlfriend of Vanzant is important in the homicide case that Michael is facing as it effectively dispelled the idea that the Navales group went to the Bacaltos residence to cause trouble.
“The truth is the group only went after Vanzant Navales to pacify him as he was mad at Michael Bacaltos, and not to cause trouble.” Ligutan said. (RVC)