By NITZ ARANCON
with JOEY NACALABAN
A STILL unidentified killer shot a suspected illegal gambling financier to the head and pumped two more bullets into his chest in Barangay Kauswagan, this city, in the wee hours yesterday.
Maj. Ian Borinaga, Carmen police station commander, said 37-year-old Rolly Maestrado, a resident of Block 10, Lot 20, Zone 5, Phase 2, NHA-Kauswagan, died on the spot after he was attacked with a 9mm pistol near his home.
M/Sgt. Hernan Abalde of the Carmen police said Maestrado, who was a native of Talisayan town in Misamis Oriental, was suspected to be behind some of the illegal Suertres operations here.
Maestrado’s wife Maricel said her husband had been a Suertres financier since 2004.
Abalde said investigators were facing a blank wall as to the motive for Maestrado’s murder, but he added that there were indications that the triggerman and the victim knew each other.
Lt. Ernesto Sanchez said the gun attack took place at around 2:30 am based on the statements given by residents who heard the gunshots.
Dr. Christian Caballes, a medicolegal officer at the Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) here, said three bullets killed Maestrado. One pierced through Maestrado’s face and went through the back of his head; two more bullets hit him in the left side of the chest like the gunman aimed at his heart.
Caballes said the gunman shot Maestrado at close range.
He said one of the bullets pierced into Maestrado’s left hand, suggesting that he tried to shield himself.
Police found four empty shell from a 9mm pistol at the crime scene, a necklace and a key.
Maestrado’s 36-year-old wife Maricel said the victim left the house while she was asleep.
“Nakatulog na man ko, wala ko masayod nga milakaw diay siya,” she said.
Maricel said she checked Maestrado’s belongings and found out that he brought with him his two cellphones and a wallet, belongings that were not found at the crime scene.
Artagnant Pimentel, a Kauswagan barangay councilor, theorized that the killer took Maestrado’s cellphones and wallet.
“Nawalis na gud ang bulsa sa iyang short pants, ma-o nang magduda kita nga tingalig gikuha sa suspect ang iyang cellphones ug pitaka aron dili mahibaw-an kinsay iyang mga contacts,” Pimentel said.