CABANATUAN CITY – A police major and an unidentified cohort are facing separate charges of kidnapping and murder for allegedly abducting a woman and killing a company driver in this city recently.
City police chief Lt. Col. Carl Omar Fiel identified the suspects as Maj. Antonio Cuaresma, deputy chief of police of Binmaley, Pangasinan and resident of Agbannawag, Tabuk City, Kalinga and a certain Abu who reportedly served as the gunman.
Fiel said the duo were tagged in the abduction of Cuaresma’s alleged paramour, a 47-year-old operations manager of an ice cream company here, and the killing of Jonathan Fernandez, 38, driver of the said firm on April 29.
Investigation disclosed that Fernandez, a resident of Purok 4, Barangay Lagare this city “was shot several times by the suspects using a short firearm” in a portion of Cabanatuan-Carmen Road in Barangay Pamaldan this city at about 8:50 p.m. on Apr. 29.
Fernandez died instantly due to multiple gunshot wounds in the attack that was reportedly witnessed by a crowd.
“May mga nagtangkang tumulong kay Fernandez pero nag-warning shot ‘yung gunman kaya nagtakbuhan ang mga tao,” Fiel said.
Cuaresma, investigation showed, drove an AUV used in the crime.
The suspects then brought the woman to a hotel in Barangay San Sebastian, Tarlac City where she “created” a commotion prompting personnel to call the police.
But Cuaresma and Abu allegedly managed to elude arrest.
“(The woman) narrated to the responding PNP personnel that she witnessed the killing,” Fiel said.
According to the woman, Cuaresma was suspecting that she had an illicit affair with Fernandez which she denied.
Fiel said there is an ongoing manhunt operation against the suspects even as probers gathered CCTV footages in the vicinity of the crime scene and eyewitnesses.