WHILE the relatives are still in mourning over the death of the 15-year-old boy who was shot on December 13, 2023 in Sitio Ponce 1, Barangay Carreta, Cebu City, his mother was also shot dead at dawn on December 25 in the same location.
The fatalities were identified as Crystal Mae Labor Ongos, 31, with live-in partner, and her son who went by his moniker Wawang (real name withheld for being a minor).
Their alleged attacker, Joselito Lariba alias Insik, 25, of Sitio Bagong Buhay, Barangay Carreta, fell to the authorities.
Following an inquiry by the Mabolo Police Station 4 under the supervision of Police Major Eraño Regidor, the station commander, it was discovered that the victim was buying ice water from a nearby store, just a short distance from the site of her son's wake, when she saw the suspect approaching her.
While Ongos fled for her life, the suspect followed and captured her.
The victim pleaded with Lariba, "Don't kill me because I still have children to feed," but the suspect ignored her and shot her several times, killing her.
The culprit was apprehended by the Mabolo police personnel during a hot pursuit operation with the help of the locals.
The police recovered the .38 revolver with three live bullets from Lariba.
The suspect acknowledged using the gun to shoot the mother and son when questioned by the authorities.
He said that he took action in response to their threats to kill him.
He stated that he took the initiative and shot Wawang believing that the latter would kill him.
Lariba accused Wawang of disseminating false information against him, claiming that he was the one who supplied illicit drugs to Carreta.
He added that Crystal also threatened to harm his pregnant wife.
"Gitabi man niya nga ako daw ang mangwartahay diha sa Carreta, kana si Crystal gibaharan man niya ang akung asawa mabdos baya na akung asawa nga iya daw hilabtan kung iyang makit-an," Lariba said.
(She spread allegations that I was mulcting money in Carreta. She also threatened to harm my pregnant wife once she encountered her).
Lariba acknowledged that Wawang and he were friends, but said their friendship soured when Wawang began spreading false information about his involvement in illegal drug activity.
According to Regidor, Wawang was supposed to be buried last Monday, December 25, but it was rescheduled following Lariba’s shooting death of his mother.
"Ilubong unta na ang iyang anak karon (December 25, 2023), nya kay gipusil man ang inahan duha sila gihaya sa ilang balay ron," Regidor said on Monday.
(Her son was supposed to be buried today, (December 25, 2023), but since his mother was also murdered, the two of them are being held in their home in a wake).
Crystal was previously detained in Cebu City Jail due to illegal drugs.
She was released from prison after entering into a plea agreement.
However, after being set free, she allegedly returned to illicit drug activity.
The police are looking into illegal drugs as a motive of the incident considering that Wawang allegedly owed a huge amount of money to Lariba’s drug boss.
The Mabolo police are now preparing to file double murder charges against the suspect. (With TPT)