Somebody wanted him dead for sure, and not for his money.
A son of a resort owner in Talisay City was shot dead while driving his sports utility vehicle about l:45 p.m. yesterday in OPRRA, barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.
The shooter was his passenger, an unidentified young man in jeans and a white T-shirt.
He fired from the back seat, then stepped out and opened the driver’s side door and fired again twice at the head of 39-year-old Antonio Favia Santos.
Robbery was not the likely motive. Santos had two bundles of P1,000 and P500 pesos bills in his pockets, a total of P73,000 and $70.
Police are investigating the cause of the killing of the son of the owner of Villa Teresita Resort.
He was on his way home from the Cebu City jail, a visit whose circumstances were not immediately clear. It was not a scheduled visitors day for jail inmates.
Police said there were reports linking the young Santos to gambling operations of masiao and swertres.
Santos is a married son of the couple Pablito and Teresita Santos, owner of Villa Teresita Resort in barangay Pooc, Talisay City.
The young Santos was shot twice in the left temple and nape.
He was killed instantly, said Senior Insp. Jul Mohammad Jamiri, chief of the homicide section of Cebu City Police Office.
A witness, a habal-habal driver with a lone backrider, said he was tailing the victim’s light blue Honda CRV, when the car suddenly stopped upon reaching a curve a few meters up the inclined road.
The motorcycle driver said he heard a first burst of gunfire.
Then he saw a man in a white T-shirt and blue jeans get out. The passenger then shot the man at the wheel of the Honda CRV.
The witness said Santos tried to maneuver the car to make a U-turn, apparently to try to get help, but the rear of the car bumped an electric post and ditched in the left side of the hilly road.
“I heard three gun blasts. I didn’t get a clear view of the gunman’s face because his back was facing me,” said the witness.
Then the gunman hurried to a motorcycle waiting few meters ahead and fled.
Santos was found slumped on the street three feet from the car, when policemen arrived.
Two empty shells and a slug fired by a .45-caliber pistol were found on the road, including Santos’ cellular phone.
Police said Santos’ Honda CRV was seen parked outside the city jail shortly before the shooting. Yesterday was not a normal visitors day for inmates.
SPO1 Violango said police confirmed that Santos had visited the jail Tuesday afternoon at about 3 p.m.
A few minutes after the attack, a black motorcycle was found abandoned in Justice Street in Peace Valley. Police believe this was used as the getaway vehicle.
A security guard of a private residence there said he saw three men riding the motorbike then transferred to a light multicab van following it. The guard wasn’t able to remember the van’s license plate number.
Homicide Section Chief Senior Insp. Jul Muhammad Jamiri said police information indicated that Santos was involved in financing masiao and illegal swertres for several years and that his operation recently expanded to Negros Island.
“Gidimalas siya sa iyang negosyo kay daghang nakadaug, unya nakapamaligya na siya sa iyang mga butang para ipamayad sa mga midaug. Basin og duna ni siyay na-tumbling maong gipatay,” Jamiri said last night.
(He got unlucky because there were many winners. He had to sell his belongings to raise the money to pay them off. Perhaps one of them got involved in drugs.)
Jamiri said they are still investigating on the motive and who was his companion inside the light blue Honda CRV with plate number YBH 835.
Jamiri said it appeared that the victim came from the Cebu City Jail, though he was not able to visit there because there was no visiting hour for Wednesday.
In Teresita Resort in Biasong, Talisay City, Antonio’s sister-in law said the family was in a state of shock and was not aware of any threat on Antonio’s life, who is a co-owner of the resort.
She said the wife and father are in a state of shock and haven’t broken the news to the victim’s mother yet.
Antonio was the fourth of five siblings. He had two children with wife Maricar.
They lived in Labangon, Cebu City, but during summer, the family would stay in the Talisay resort. /Chito O. Aragon and Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondents