THE Central Visayas police director has ordered a manhunt for Edna Cabañog and alleged New People’s Army (NPA) member Tomas Isugan for their alleged roles in the murder of Philippine Air Force (PAF) Staff Sergeant Mark Herbert Oberes.
Cabañog’s daughter Resamie plans to testify against her mother, whom she accused of planning to murder Oberes last Wednesday night.
Resamie, a former girlfriend of Oberes, and her new boyfriend Joshua Garciano have been arrested for Oberes’ death.
Police lodged a murder complaint yesterday afternoon against Cabañog, Garciano and four other suspects before the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office, although both Cabañog and Garciano have said they were not directly involved.
Edna, Isugan and two unidentified men are still at large. Isugan has been described as Edna’s driver.
Chief Supt. Robert Quenery said that operatives of the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office, Cebu Provincial Police Office and Regional Special Operations Group were tasked to locate the other suspects, who are believed to be in hiding in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
The police will check on the background of Cabañog, who allegedly recruited Isugan and two unidentified cohorts.
“We will investigate her connections with the New People’s Army,” Quenery said.
In an interview yesterday, Resamie said she met Oberes last year through a networking venture they were both working in.
While admitting she had a relationship with Oberes for five months, Resamie said she decided to end it when she found out that the officer was already married.
Her mother, she recalled, reprimanded her and Oberes for their relationship.
But while she wanted to get away from Oberes, Resamie said, the officer continued to pursue her. When Oberes reportedly found out that Garciano was Resamie’s new boyfriend, the soldier tried to threaten him by sending him intimidating messages.
Edna reportedly told her daughter that she would deal with the officer, after she learned about the threats.
Just before the incident last Wednesday night, Garciano had planned to take Resamie to Cebu City when she received a call from Oberes that he was already outside her house.
When Edna found out that Oberes was outside waiting for her daughter, she accompanied her to meet him.
Resamie said she was surprised that as Oberes was walking toward her, an unidentified man suddenly hit the soldier with a shovel.
Isugan and another unidentified man, she said, suddenly appeared and took turns mauling Oberes. One of the suspects then pulled out a pistol and shot Oberes, injuring him.
Garciano said he and Resamie wanted to get away but one of the two attackers aimed his pistol at him, demanding that he drive the white car Oberes owned.
As Garciano was driving the white car, the two unidentified attackers sat on the backseat and took turns stabbing Oberes.
“I tried to tell them to stop it, but they wouldn’t listen,” Garciano said, in Cebuano.
Resamie, her mother Edna and Isugan rode another car, a gray one.
When they arrived in Barangay Valencia in Carcar City, Garciano was then transferred to the other car where Resamie was.
After leaving Oberes’ body in his car, Edna, Isugan and two other men doused it with gasoline and tossed a lit match at it.
The people in the other car then left the crime scene.
Resamie said she never thought her mother would hire people to kill Oberes. When Oberes called her a day before the murder, she agreed to meet with him.
“My mom heard my call with Mark (Oberes) and in order to finally settle things, she agreed that I would see him. We agreed to the meeting as he promised that he won’t trouble us and no longer send threatening posts on social media,” Resamie said.
She also denied allegations that she owed Oberes P50,000 and that he was at her house to collect payment.
Acting Talisay City Police chief Supt. Marlu Conag said that Resamie and Garciano will still be charged with murder and arson.