Viga police authorities are hoping that the cellphone of a backhoe operator who was shot dead by riding-in-tandem gunmen last Friday evening would provide valuable information on the possible motive behind the murder.
According to official report of the Catanduanes police, Sandy Todoc Tesorero, 41, a native of Sipi, Bato who has a family in Sicmil, Gigmoto, was driving his motorcycle with a construction worker, identified only as Rey, when the incident occurred at around 5:30 pm of July 23, 2021.
Initial investigation disclosed that their motorcycle was ascending a steep section of the secondary national road at sitio Het-is in barangay Buenavista, Viga when a black and white Honda XRM motorcycle with two men on board overtook their vehicle.
The gunman riding at the back fired once at Tesorero, with the bullet hitting his right hand, forcing him to slow down.
The suspect then alighted from his vehicle, approached Tesorero and fired at him several times.
Seeing his target dead or dying, the killer then rejoined his companion, with the motorcycle allegedly speeding towards barangay Soboc.
The police report did not indicate how the victim’s companion, who worked with him at the bridge construction project near the Viga poblacion, managed to get off the motorcycle and escape before reporting to the authorities.
Tesorero was brought to the Viga district hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. A post-mortem examination showed he sustained nine bullet wounds in the different parts of the body.
Responding police officers later recovered eight empty shells for a Cal. 45 handgun at the crime scene.
Follow-up investigation is now being conducted to determine the identity of the two suspects and the motive behind the cold-blooded murder.
The Viga police station has appealed to whoever has any information related to the incident to contact their hotline number at 09298043389.
A source told the Tribune that the police is hoping to recover valuable information from the cellphone recovered from the victim.
Among the possible angles being considered for the motive include his work at the bridge construction project of a Virac-based contractor and allegations that he had engaged in other romantic liaisons while married.
It may be recalled that the Philippine Army recently called local contractors and officials of infrastructure agencies to a meeting last June 25, 2021 to discuss the security in their projects due to reports that communist insurgents have been regularly extorting “revolutionary tax” from contractors.
It is claimed that since then, the Army and the Catanduanes police has sent teams of soldiers and policemen to provide security for selected construction projects and quarrying activities.
In the recent past, several contractors reportedly had their equipment either burned or forced to stop operation by suspected armed guerillas allegedly belonging to the New People’s Army.