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Guard surrenders hours after killing carpenter

By NITZ ARANCON
with JOEY NACALABAN Correspondents . 

A GUARD shot and killed a carpenter in a subdivision in upper Puerto, this city, at dawn yesterday, and then surrendered later with the claim that it was a case of self-defense.

SLAIN. Residents watch from a distance as crime scene investigators flank the body of 40-year-old carpenter Ruben Bacalso who was shot and killed at Fatima Subdivision in Zone 8, Upper Puerto, this city, at dawn yesterday. (photo by Nitz Arancon)

 Chief Insp. Abdul Alimsumandar, Puerto police chief, said 40-year-old carpenter Ruben Bacalso of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, died after he was shot twice to the neck by Devie Moralde at Fatima Subdivision in Zone 8, Puerto, at around 3 am yesterday.

He said Moralde fled on a motorcycle after the shooting. In a Bukidnon town where he sought refuge, he was convinced by one Dedilusan Arroyo, a Talaandig tribal leader, to surrender.

Police said the suspect handed himself over to Alimsumandar at around 10 amo.

“Midangop siya kanako, ug nangayog tambag unsay iyang buhaton. Ako siyang gitambagan, nga aron dili mobug-at ang iyang kaso, mas maayo nga mosurender siya nga malinawon sa mga otoridad,” Arroyo said.

PO3 Limuel Tecson said Bacalso was killed with a caliber .38 revolver.

Insp. Paulgen Ragmac, a crime scene investigator, said Bacalso died of two gunshot wounds in the neck.

“Ang usa ka bala milahos sa iyang li-og; ang usa, wala makagawas,” said Ragmac.

Ragmac said police found at the crime scene two spent bullets and some of the victim’s personal belongings.

Bacalso was scheduled to be autopsied.

Moralde claimed that it was either him or Bacalso, and that he merely defended himself.

Moralde said Bacalso was in a drinking binge with a group of men in his neighborhood. He said he woke up early to work as a guard at the farm of a barangay chairman in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

He said he was about to ride his motorcyle and leave but “paggawas nako, gibunalan ko ug botelya ni Bacalso, ug giti-onan kog pusil adtong  iyang kauban.”

Moralde said he was unarmed and only managed to grab the revolver of one of Bacalso’s companions.

“Kon wala to nako ma-ilog ang pusil, ako unta ang mamatay,” he said.

Moralde claimed to have thrown the revolver away as he fled.

According to Moralde, Bacalso resented that he contracted another carpenter to work on his room. He said Bacalso had worked on his toilet before that, and he (Moralde) was unhappy with the result.

“Nasuko man diya siya nga la-ing panday akong gi-hire,” Moralde said.

A witness, Teogenes Abarabar who was with Bacalso, said they were at the house of a common friend, one Eduardo Rodriguez.

Abarabar alleged that Moralde went inside Rodriguez’s house with a revolver and started harassing Bacalso.

He said Moralde left but he would later fire his revolver.

“Sa unang boto, salba pa to, pag-ika duha nang boto, naigo na kini si Bacalso” Abarabar said.

He alleged that a wounded Bacalso chased Moralde because he wanted to get even but was shot again.

It was the second gunshot that killed Bacalso.

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