A 34-year-old father was shot and killed by a visitor at his own son’s birthday party in Sitio Layang Layang, Barangay Halsey in Culion on Monday night, police said.
P/Maj. Ric Ramos of the Police Provincial Office (PPO) identified the victim as fisherman Michael Abejo Dela Cruz, a resident of the said barangay, in a report dated Wednesday, August 18. The accused assailant was named Rogelio Lorenzo Pajarillo, alias Boy Mani, 40, a resident of Sitio Mampok also in Halsey.
Culion Municipal Police Station (MPS) chief P/Lt. Freddie Ugalde said Wednesday in an interview with Palawan News that based on their preliminary investigation, Pajarillo shot Dela Cruz with a .45 caliber pistol after a heated argument while they were both drinking.
“Doon sa birthday, sabi ng mga tao na nakakita nang pangyayari, sinabihan lang ng biktima ang suspek na, ‘Ikaw, Boy, kung ano ang ginagawa mo sa Mampok, hindi mo puwedeng gawin dito’. Pagkatapos bigla na lang binaril,” Ugalde said.
Ugalde said the victim sustained a gunshot in the right armpit and died as a result of the injury.
He said Pajarillo fled to Mampok after the incident at the birthday party. While there, he was allegedly looking for a neighbor whom he also wanted to shoot.
“Tapos doon nanaman sa kanila [sa Mampok], oras din ang pagitan, ginigising niya ang kapit bahay niya kasi para barilin,” said Ugalde.
Ugalde said they arrested Pajarillo in a hot pursuit operation that ended in a street in Mampok.
They were unable to recover the firearm that the suspect used as he immediately discarded it upon seeing them.
“Sa birthday, [ang] gamit niya .45 pero doon sa Mampok, sabi ng mga nakakita .38 caliber daw. Wala na kaming nakuhang baril kasi noong makita pa lang niya ang ilaw ng sasakyan namin, naitapon niya agad,” he said.
Pajarillo is now under their custody for the filing of charges against him.