THE dead man found inside a burnt vehicle in Sitio Tal-ot, Barangay Valencia, Carcar City yesterday morning was identified as Philippine Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Herbert Oberes.
Two of six the people who were allegedly involved in his death were arrested in Talisay City.
Suspects Resamie Cabañog, 20, and her boyfriend Joshua Garciano, 22, were caught during a hot pursuit operation.
Cabañog was allegedly the victim’s ex-lover.
Talisay City police are looking at a love triangle as the main motive for the murder.
They received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a shooting incident at Corazon Village 2 in Barangay San Isidro last Wednesday night.
Witnesses told police that they saw Oberes, 37, being mauled and shot several times by six unidentified persons. They loaded his body into a white vehicle and drove off with another vehicle in tow.
Insp. Inar Vic Florece, deputy police chief, said they recovered slugs and shells of a .45 pistol, a bloodied shovel, a 13-inch knife, a slipper and a magazine of a .45 pistol on the scene.
Yesterday morning, Talisay City police received word that a burnt white car was found in Carcar City.
The white car matched the description of the vehicle that the suspects allegedly placed Oberes’s body in.
The body was identified by Oberes’s wife Diana and his father Solomon through a necklace he was wearing and documents found inside the car.
Talisay City police received a call from the employer of Cabañog and Garciano, who both work for a construction firm in Cebu City, pointing to their involvement in the murder.
At the police station, the two suspects confessed to conspiring to kill Oberes. However, they said it was Cabañog’s mother Edna, a certain Tomas Isugan and two unidentified men who killed Oberes.
Isugan is reportedly a member of the New People’s Army.
SPO1 Jason del Campo, one of the investigators in the case, told reporters that Oberes had a relationship with Cabañog until she broke up with him after meeting Garciano, who is an engineer.
Oberes allegedly threatened to post their sex video on social media if she didn’t go back to him. That allegedly didn’t bode well with Edna.
After agreeing to meet, Oberes went to the Cabañog residence where he was allegedly mauled by Isugan and the two unidentified men who were allegedly hired by Edna.
Cabañog and Garciano told police they only wanted to scare Oberes, but he fought back against his attackers, which resulted to his death.
They said they brought Oberes’s body to Carcar City where they torched the white car with his body inside before leaving.
Edna, Isugan and the two unidentified men disembarked in Minglanilla and took a bus to Dumanjug to board a barge for Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental.
The four were intercepted by the PNP Maritime Police in Guihulngan City, but they were released as there were no warrants of arrest against them.
Garciano, for his part, said he is ready to testify against Cabanog and the four other suspects.
He denied any involvement in Oberes’s murder, saying Edna had masterminded it. However, he admitted to driving the vehicle to Carcar City.
Garciano said he tried to convince the suspects not to kill Oberes as he was still alive when he was brought to Carcar City.
In a related development, Oberes’s wife Dianne reportedly began to worry when he didn’t return from his headquarters at the Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City.
The Obereses live in Sitio Sangi-Interior in Barangay Pajo, which is close to the airbase.
Oberes was assigned at the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.
Meanwhile, Valencia Barangay Councilor Boni Yam-id, in a dyLA interview, wondered why the suspects would set fire to the vehicle with Oberes’s body in their barangay.
“Kining among barangay peaceful man gyod ni (We’re very peaceful here),” he said.
Investigators believe the suspects tried to push the vehicle over a cliff about 300 meters deep, but it instead fell 10 meters off the provincial road that is connected to Aloguinsan town. (With FVQ of Superbalita Cebu & KAL)