It was a bloody end for a farmer and a former policeman after they were shot dead in Escalante City and Cauayan town, Negros Occidental, respectively, early morning yesterday, July 22.

Records from the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office identified the victims as Vincent Decena, alias “Nonot”, 54, of Barangay Linaon in Cauayan and Hadjen Casipong, 41 of Barangay Libertad in Escalante City.

Investigation showed that Decena, a former policeman who has been tagged as Absent Without Official Leave, was having coffee at a coffee shop in Barangay Linaonan’s Purok 2 when a silver van arrived.

Town’ police chief Major Anthony Grande said that witnesses claimed that three armed men alighted from the van and entered the coffee shop.

Two of the suspects successively shot Decena, who failed to fight back while their companion’s gun malfunctioned, Grande said.

He said the suspects were wearing a helmet, cap and facemasks making it impossible for witnesses to identify them.

Customers of the coffee shop and Decena’s three other companions, whose names were not disclosed, scampered.

The police official lamented that the coffee shop has no surveillance camera.

Another witness told the police that the suspect’s vehicle was spotted in an area 200 meters away from the crime scene after the shooting.

Several fired bullets and deformed slugs of a .45 caliber pistol were recovered from the scene of the crime, police records showed.

As of press time, the Cauayan town police are still at loss as to the motive of the killing but one of the possible angles they are looking into is the possibility that it could be drug-related.

Grande disclosed that Decena, who was dismissed from service back in 2017, is in their drugs watch list as a high value target individual.

“Based on the manner of how the crime was executed, the suspects have no plan to let him live,” he said.

The victim died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds on his head, chest and back. Police investigators are yet to determine if he has received death threats prior to the incident.

Meanwhile, Casipong was found dead with gunshot wounds at his farm at about 6 a.m. yesterday by one of his children who was supposed to bring him food.

Case investigator Senior Master Sergeant Rodel Betic said that prior to the discovery of Casipong’s body, his relatives who were living nearby heard several gunshots.

Betic said they are yet to determine the motive and they don’t have witnesses although they believe that the crime was perpetrated by more than one suspect.

Police recovered three fired cartridges of AK 47 rifle and a fired cartridge of a .45 caliber pistol from the crime scene.

Asked if the killing was insurgency-related since the area have sightings of the members of the Communist Terrorist Group, Betic said they cannot establish that yet.

He said that the wife of Casipong, who is an Agrarian Reform Beneficiary, is yet to issue a statement whether he has received death threats or not.

Cauayan City Police Photo. Former policeman Vincent Decena, alias “Nonot”, was shot dead inside a coffee shop at Cauayan town, Negros Occidental by two armed men yesterday, July 22.