THE youngest son of former Medellin, Cebu mayor Ricardo Ramirez may have an idea who was behind the killing of his father.
The 55-year-old Medellin Municipal Councilor Ricardo was gunned down in the restroom of his hospital room at the Bogo-Medellin Medical Center (BMMC) in Barangay Luy-a in the northern town last Tuesday night, June 18, 2019.
Pedro Jesus, or PJ, went to the Medellin Police Station last Thursday, June 20, with his elder brother to say he was willing to cooperate with the police investigation.
Although he didn’t provide any details, PJ said he had a suspect in his father’s death. However, he asked authorities to give him and his family time to attend to his father’s wake and to prepare his burial.
Police Major Audie Pelayo said they were able to talk to four more witnesses, but all four said the same thing: the armed men were wearing masks and they were carrying high-powered firearms.
The witnesses couldn’t see the plate numbers of the hatchback and the three sports utility vehicles that the armed men arrived in because the vehicles were parked in a dark area of the hospital compound. They couldn’t make out the make or the color of the vehicles because everything happened so fast. They were also too scared, they said.
“Members of the Ramirez family visited the station earlier. I asked PJ if we could question him, but he begged off, saying he was busy. He said maybe his brother would be available tomorrow. He told us something, but he didn’t give us all the details. He said he had a suspect, but he didn’t say who the suspect was,” Pelayo told Superbalita Cebu in Cebuano.
Meanwhile, JO1 Renan Pableo, the jail guard assigned to watch over Ricardo at the hospital, tested negative of any illegal substances.
This was the text message Jail Supt. Gil Inopia, warden of the Medellin District Jail, sent to Superbalita Cebu.
Pableo was made to undergo a drug test to clear any suspicion that he and the former mayor were using illegal drugs in the facility after Scene of the Crime operatives (Soco) retrieved drug paraphernalia inside Ricardo’s room.
After last Tuesday night’s incident, things were back to normal at the hospital last Wednesday, June 19.
The staff, though, admitted that they were still afraid, prompting Dr. Jude Palileo, medical director of BMMC, to request the station to post men outside the hospital, especially at night.
Last Wednesday night, policemen conducted foot patrols inside the hospital compound. They stayed for several hours.
Hospital management also asked police to hasten their investigation inside the facility since Ricardo’s room is located near the passageway to the surgery room. Police still have to conduct a bullet trajectory test inside the restroom where Ricardo’s bullet-riddled body was found.
Tenants and sharecroppers of the Ramirezes rushed to the family house in Sitio Lurcha in Barangay Caputatan Sur when they heard the news of Ricardo’s death.
One of them, Milo Booc, said the former mayor was generous and helpful. He said they’d been living in one of Ricardo’s properties for many years and the latter had never charged them rent.
Milo’s brother Noel, who has been working as a caretaker at the Ramirez house for the last 20 years, said he looked up to Ricardo as a father. (From FMD of SuperBalita Cebu, PJB)