Ex-Kuratong Baleleng member shot dead at home with woman, son in Mactan

Posted on June 10, 2011

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Lapu-Lapu City Police Chief Anthony Obenza (far right) shows a shirt with Latin words written on it and an empty vault in the house of the Canillo family where three members were shot dead in barangay Babag, Lapu-Lapu City./ CDN Photo Tonee Despojo

A criminal past came back to bite him.

Neighbors of Ronaldo Canillo, 58, had no idea he used to belong to the Kuratong Baleleng robbery group in Ozamis City until armed men shot him dead, along with his live-in partner and their 3-year-old son in their house in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. The victims were killed with shots to the head.

Two other young children were able to run out of the house and are now in police custody.

A 17-year-old male relative survived with gunshot wounds in the neck.

Lapu-Lapu City Police Chief Anthony Obenza said the police were able to identify the assailants as members of the Kuratong Baleleng.

He said Canillo broke off from the group and relocated to barangay Babag II, Lapu-Lapu City, last year but may have been tracked down and killed as an act of vengeance or as a result of disagreement over dividing stolen loot.

The police chief said the victim was a “pillar of the gang” and a “keeper” who was entrusted with proceeds of their illegal activities. Cabonilla also kept a T-shirt with Latin words inscribed on it, which police said Mindanao gang members were known to use as an amulet.

Inside the gated two-story house, an open vault was found on the dining table. The vault was empty. It had been carried down from an upstairs bedroom.

No other valuables were noticed missing.

The attack took place about 6 a.m. after the couple returned from the public market with the two children.

A witness told police that a man met Canillo at the corner, about 50 meters away, and they walked casually into the house with his wife and kids following. Three other men later entered.

Another account said Cabanillo was dragged in the house by the men after they blocked his way.

Then gunshots were heard.

Canillo’s live-in partner, 36-year-old Emma Laraño from Iligan City, and their 3-year-old son Rolando II were killed.

Emma’s 17-year-old brother was shot in the kitchen. He was later taken to an undisclosed hospital in Cebu City where he was declared in critical condition.

Two other children, aged 6 and 4, escaped unharmed by running out the door.

Witnesses said the assailants drove off in a silver gray Toyota Vios sedan that was seen parked the night before at a nearby eatery. /By Jucell Cuyos and Jhunnex Napallacan

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