Police identify gunman in gas station shooting incident

·3 min read

POLICE have identified the suspect in the shooting to death of a 30-year-old man at a gasoline station on Tres de Abril Street, Barangay San Nicolas, Cebu City on Thursday afternoon, June 23, 2022.

The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) is now looking into the drug angle as the possible motive in the killing of Gabriel Raffinan, who had been arrested twice for his illegal drug activity.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for administration of the CCPO, said the suspected gunman is also a drug personality believed to be a hitman of the victim's boss, who is in jail.

Parilla, however, did not reveal the name of the boss pending their ongoing investigation.

Raffinan, who was living in Sitio Lower Obca, Barangay Quiot, was about to refuel his motorcycle at a gas station when somebody called him. He then approached the man for some conversations and minutes later gunfires erupted.

The victim succumbed to gunshot wounds in the body.

Authorities recovered the victim's mobile phone, which led to the identification of the suspect through their text messages.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for administration of the CCPO, said the victim and the suspect have known each other as they were conversing prior to the incident.

“Kining biktima ug suspect is managkaila, based didto sa conversation didto sa iyang (biktima) cellphone nga na recover. Gitawag ang biktima sa suspect kay pabayron og five thousand, duna siyay bayranan base didto sa text nga P5,000),” Parilla said.

(The victim and the suspect have known each other, based on the conversation on his (victim) cellphone that was recovered. The suspect called on the victim to pay P5,000. He owed the suspect P5,000 based on the text messages).

It was learned that Raffinan had five drug players as his downlines and all of them were arrested by the operatives of the Mambaling Police Station in their previous anti-illegal drug operations.

Parilla said the relationship between Raffinan and his boss started to turn sour when the former did not remit the proceeds from the drug sales of his downlines to his boss, claiming that the money was among those confiscated during their arrest.

“Murag duna ni silay grudges sa iyang amo nga still naa sa sulod sa jail, nga accordingly everytime nga madakpan ang iyang mga downline iyang itug-an nga nadakpan tanan hasta ang kwarta," Parilla added.

(It seems that he (Raffinan) had grudges with his boss who is still in jail, that accordingly everytime his downline would be arrested, Raffinan would tell his boss that the money was among those confiscated).

Raffinan was first arrested in January 2017 during the buybust operation by the Mambaling police station, but was later released through the plea bargaining agreement.

In June 2017, he was again arrested for the same offense and freed still through the plea bargaining agreement.

The police described Raffinan as a big-time drug player as he had distribution networks of his illegal drug supply. (AYB/Jeanie Mea Pitor, CNU intern)

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