AN ELDERLY couple were shot dead inside their house in Purok 1, Barangay Bae in the southern town of Sibonga early morning Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.
Just last month, their son was also killed inside the house.
According to police, both incidents may have something to do with a family dispute.
The victims were identified as Severino and Anatalia Tolomia, both 72. The two sold vegetables at the Carbon Public Market in Cebu City.
Major Alfredo Kuhay, chief of the Sibonga Police Station, said they received the alarm around 5 a.m. after the barangay captain of Bae called the station.
According to their initial investigation, the couple were asleep with their three grandchildren when two unidentified men entered the house and started shooting.
The grandchildren, aged 19, 12 and 11, survived the attack. Two of them jumped out of the window and fled to the neighbors’ house. The youngest rolled himself inside his sleeping mat to evade detection.
Mark Neil Tomolia, 19, said their grandparents got up from bed when they heard gunshots.
“My grandfather tried to bar the door with his cane to protect my grandmother. She was in a panic,” he said in Cebuano.
He said he had no idea who the gunmen were or why they killed his grandparents.
He also clarified that only one entered the house, while the other remained outside to serve as a lookout.
Police recovered 11 empty shells of a .30 pistol, a bolo and a scythe from the crime scene.
Kuhay said they have not determined any motive for the killing, but they’re looking at a land dispute as one possibility.
A relative of the victims who asked not to be named said they have an idea who the killers might be, but they refuse to disclose their names because they are afraid.
The elderly couple’s two grandchildren who are minors were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (JCT / PJB)