By Ria Fernandez
The driver of the president of Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) was possibly the main target of the shooting incident that happened along Pedro Gil corner Antonio Isip Street, Paco, Manila last Thursday morning, police said.
A closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage showed that the gunman on board a black and white motorcycle suddenly appeared beside the driver’s seat and opened fire to Catalino Buenvenida, 52, at around 7 a.m.
Buenvenida was hit on his left forearm. His 60-year-old boss, Editha Pillo, who was sitting at the front seat, also sustained a gunshot wound at the right portion of her body. Meanwhile, bodyguard Marlon Valdehueza, 48, was luckily shielded by Pillo’s handbag from a bullet strike. All of them are now in good condition.
On-case Police Cpl. Danilo Kabigting of Pandacan Police Station said that the suspect’s subject is possibly the driver, not the EARIST official, based on how he carried out the crime.
“If you look at the video, he shot first the driver which is unusual. He pointed his gun down to the driver,” he explained.
According to Police Lt. Col. Carlo Manuel, spokesperson of Manila Police District (MPD), the motive could be job-related since the driver was promoted from utility staff to motor pool services chief in just a short period.
But Buenvenida previously told Kabigting that he had no known enemy.
Despite this, authorities are not discrediting the angle that the real target was Pillo especially that she received a death threat back in 2014 when she became the EARIST head.
Moreover, a director and vice president of the said school was also killed in an ambush in 2010 and 2012, respectively
Police continue to hunt down the suspect described to be in his mid-30s to 40s, lightly built, brown-skinned, with a pointed nose, and with big eyes. His face was also half covered by a helmet and he was clad in a black jacket and maong pants during the shooting.
Meanwhile, MPD chief Vicente Danao, Jr. is seeking an explanation from the members of Pandacan Police Station regarding the incident since his directive to all Manila cops was to be visible 24/7.