By LITO RULONA
and A.L. RICALDE
with ANJANETTE VILLAMOR
POLICE yesterday alleged that the primary suspect in the Dec. 30, 2016 shooting death of Roads and Traffic Administration enforcer Cris Cabingas is a hitman who planned to shoot another law enforcer here.
Senior Insp. Joel Salo of the Cogon police said the suspect, Mohaimen Macauyag a.k.a. Alex Masacal, was monitored to be planning to kill another RTA enforcer or a police officer.
Salo said Macauyag, a native of Mapandi, Marawi City, was the subject of an intelligence report, and the police has since been on the watch for him.
Chief Insp. Harvey Abellanosa, chief of the Cogon police, corroborated Salo’s allegation against the 30-year old Macauyag.
“We received reports nga naa na pud siyay target, possible lain na pud nga traffic enforcer or police officer. Mao nga nibalik na pud siya dinhi sa Cagayan de Oro,” said Abellanosa.
Abellanosa said the suspect went into hiding in Valencia, Bukidnon and in his hometown in Marawi. Macauyag’s address here is NHA in Barangay Kauswagan.
Macauyag, who was arrested by the police near Cogon market on Tuesday, was linked to the killing of Cabingas near Cogon market.
Before he was brought to the city jail in Lumbia, Macauyag was brought to the City Prosecutor’s Office where he denied involvement in any crime.
He maintained his innocence, saying was an evacuee from strife-torn Marawi City who was arrested while trying to earn a living by being a jeepney “dispatcher.”
“Naglingkod ra gani ko sa fire hydrant kay naghulat ko og jeep nga ma-dispatch. Igo ra ako nangita og kuwarta unya kalit lang gidakop ko,” he said.
Macauyag added: “Kung killer pa ko, dili unta mag-dispatcher sa Cogon nga doul gani sa police station… Wala ko nagbali-bali ana kay limpyo man akong konsensiya. Gitawagan ko nga ako’y gipasanginlan pero wala nako na baliha.”
He said he was aware that he was tagged by the police as the main suspect in Cabingas’s killing as early as last year.
But Macauyag claimed that he was in Marawi City when the Cabingas murder took place.
Police said the suspect was arrested by the police based on an arrest warrant in connection with another case: the killing of his common law wife here in November 2015.
Macauyag denied he killed Aiza Surugawon, maintaining that she committed suicide after he told her that he was going to marry a Muslim in Marawi.
He said he was the one who rushed Surugawon to a hospital where she subsequently died.
He was charged with murder with complex unintentional abortion by the parents of Surugawon.
Macauyag said he left for Marawi after Surugawon’s death and only returned with his wife here days after the May 23 crisis. He said his wife delivered a baby boy at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center.
“Wala gani ko kabalo nga naa diay ko’y kaso adtong akong first wife. Unya karon gidakop ko og gipasinginlan nga maoy nagpusil ni Cabingas. Two months nako nag-dispatch diha sa Cogon,” he said.
He also denied that he was a hired killer.
Meanwhile, Cabingas’s mother welcomed Macauyag’s arrest even as she thanked authorities for moving to bring the suspect to court.
Teary eyed, Yolanda Cabingas went to see Mayor Oscar Moreno to thank him and the police.
“Matagaan na og husisya ang pagkamatay sa akong anak,” she said.
Ms. Cabingas, accompanied by her daughter Queenie, said her family sought the help of Moreno early this month.
Macauyag, who also uses the alias “Alex B. Macatana,” was presented by the police to Moreno, officials of the RTA and Task Force Hapsay Dalan chairman Jose Edgardo Uy on Tuesday.