Stray bullets kill law graduate

Cebu Daily News
Last updated 02:02pm (Mla time) 07/06/2007

CEBU, Philippines—Stray bullets ended the life of a 33-year-old law graduate who was walking to a convenience store in Cebu City past midnight Thursday.


Jake Chan died of gunshot wounds in his shoulder and chest.


He was the latest victim of gang violence in Cebu City where alleged members of the Crips and the Alpha Kappa Rho fired shots along Gen. Maxilom Avenue.


A second victim, taxi driver Edwin Cabuenas, 42, was shot in the back. He was declared in critical condition at the hospital.


Following the violence, Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. said he would ask for more policemen to be fielded near Mango Square Mall especially during special events.


Chan was walking near the 22nd Street Comedy Bar along Mango Square Mall when a group of young men with guns started shooting at past midnight. Chan hails from Tacloban city and was living in barangay Camputhaw, Cebu City for the duration of his bar review. He had plans of becoming a priest after taking the Bar, according to family members.


His law books, school materials, and a rosary were recovered near his body.


Police later arrested three suspects Francis Obiso, 22 and Jimmy Tesaluna, 19, tagged as members of the Crips youth gang, and Arman Adlawan, who was identified as an Alpha Kappa Rho fraternity member. Two .38 caliber revolvers with live bullets were confiscated from Obiso and Adlawan.


The three men denied any involvement in the shooting and instead pointed to Francis Obiso’s brother, Franco, as the shooter.


Chan, the lone fatality in the violence, was headed for a convenience store to buy some items and read his law books inside the store. He was planning to take the Bar examination this year.


He finished his law studies at the University of Southern Philippines (USP).


Relatives said Chan actually wanted to become a priest and had planned to study at the seminary in Leyte after taking the Bar exams.


Taxi driver Cabuenas of Talisay City was driving by the area when the shooting started. He was hit in the back.


Police said the before the shooting started, the three arrested suspects together with some companions approached two taxi dispatchers, Joseph Sagarino of Lapu-Lapu City and a Roy (not his real name), 16, and asked them if they belonged to any group.


The confrontation was part of the gang’s search for members of rival groups in the area.


The Crips gang is a known ally of the Alpha Kappa Rho fraternity which is at war with the Bloods gang.


When the taxi dispatchers told them that they did not belong to any group, the suspects started shooting, according to initial police findings.


They missed their intended targets and instead hit innocent bystanders.


The taxi dispatchers yesterday identified Obiso and Adlawan as the ones who shot at them.


Police said murder and frustrated murder charges would be filed against the suspects.


Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena said he would not approve any proposal to declare warring fraternities or youth gangs as criminal groups.


“I am against it because you are alienating the entire class. I want to make them feel part of the mainstream,” the mayor said.


Instead, Osmeña said, he would order a crackdown on all forms of crime in the city if peace and order becomes “unmanageable.”


He said he did not want the police to just focus on violent encounters initiated by fraternity members.


Osmeña said he had to find out more facts first about the recent shooting before making further comment.


The mayor said he wanted to make fraternity members feel part of society.


Only those with warrants for the commission of a criminal offense should be arrested, he said.

Correspondent Chito O. Aragon and Reporter Doris C. Bongca


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