THE case that stemmed from the killing by still unidentified gunmen of PO1 Mae Sasing has gotten an interesting twist with the surfacing of witnesses who belied the claim of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) that the killing was masterminded by Sasing’s former lover, Felix Taytayan. The police arrested Taytayan, an apprentice for a cargo vessel, in his house in Madridejos town.

MCPO operatives labeled Sasing’s killing as a crime of passion and claimed to have witnesses that saw Taytayan talking with the victim before the incident and being in Basak, Mandaue City when four men in two motorcycles shot her. But the theory is backed up by meager proof presented to the media, although the MCPO Investigation and Detective Management Branch insists it has enough evidence to pin down Taytayan.

Now the ship captain of M/V Gemini 6, which plies the Cebu City-Madridejos (Bantayan Island) route, and some crew members of M/V Gemini 10 attest that Taytayan helped in loading and unloading cargoes in Pier 3 in Cebu City at the time Sasing was shot. That’s an alibi, a weak legal defense, but MCPO probers should look into it to ensure that they are not trying to convict an innocent person.

The police did not say that Taytayan was one of the four assailants—in fact, they still have to identify them. They also said that all the evidence they have point to Taytayan, but the pieces of evidence so far presented are circumstantial and seemed stretched to fit a certain theory: that Taytayan wanted to rekindle a relationship with Sasing that ended a decade ago.

But questions like, how obsessed Taytayan really was with Sasing to have her killed, and does he have enough resources or the superior ability to convince four other people to kill her need to be answered well. That can only be done with strong evidence and witness testimonies. If not, the case won’t go anywhere.

We are not saying that Taytayan is innocent, but we are worried that the MCPO may have acted with haste in their investigation. Doing so is unfair both to the one charged and to victim and her relatives.