LIVE-IN partners who were allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade were shot to death by unidentified assailants in Barangay San Isidro, Asturias last Saturday dawn.

Police identified the casualties as Randy Retamas Banate, 29, and Jonna Mariz Bagood Laguna, 31.

Banate sustained gunshot wounds in the body and head, while his partner succumbed to a gunshot wound in the head.

Investigation showed that the two had been selling shabu for a long time, an information confirmed by barangay officials and some neighbors.

Banate and Laguna were also in the police station’s watchlist of illegal drug personalities operating in Asturias.

Banate’s younger brother, Hansel, told police that he was awakened by a light trained on his face while he was inside the shanty of the victims.

When he saw a gun pointed at him, he covered himself with a blanket.

Then he heard five gun shots. When it was quite, he got up and saw the victims in a pool of blood.

Hansel failed to see the faces of the culprits because they immediately turned their lights off after the shooting.


Two empty shells and a bullet of .45 pistol were found in the shanty.

The incident was followed by another shooting yesterday morning, this time with a habal-habal driver as the fatality.

The driver’s death is the tenth recorded casualty for the first week of this month by unidentified assailants in Cebu City.

Police identified the victim as Lowell Primacion, 32, who was a suspected drug courier in Sabellano St., Barangay Quiot.

“His relatives attested that he was involved in drugs because he was always with his live-in partner who was allegedly a ‘player’,” SPO2 Wetzel Berry of the Homicide Section said.

Based on the intelligence reports of Police Station 10, the victim’s live-in partner, Mary Anne Russiana, was a drug pusher in the barangay.

According to witnesses, Primacion was sitting on a wooden table watching his companions play hantak, a toss coin game.

He was with Russiana by that time when someone called his attention because a person was looking for him.

When the victim walked a few steps away, he was shot in the forehead and the chest by a man wearing a bonnet.

The gunman fled on board a motorcycle.

Recovered from the scene were three empty shells and one slug of caliber .45 pistol.

Russiana ran away after the shooting was not there during questioning. But the police found her wallet inside the utility box of Primacion’s motorcycle. Berry said it contained a picture of a policeman who was her previous live-in partner.

“We’ll still invite him for interrogation,” Berry said.

A witness, who asked not to be named, said the policeman was nearby when the shooting happened. Homicide investigators said they have yet to verify the information.

When asked for the policeman’s name, Berry said they are still investigating the matter.

PO3 Sean Colobio of the Punta Prinsesa Police Station told Cebu that Primacion and Russiana were arrested for playing hantak. Colobio said they were soon released after they posted bail.

Last Saturday, four drug users were shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside a drug den in F. Villa St., Barangay T. Padilla.

It yielded the highest death in a single shooting incident that caused the police to look in the possibility that vigilante groups are operating in the city.

However, an incident in Pardo where a drug pusher in the police’s watchlist was killed by five unidentified gunmen also raised questions from the relatives of the victims after one of them was recognized as a policeman from Police Station 7.

Cebu City Police Office Director Joel Doria said they are open to any investigation.