Birthday celebrant shot dead

Police cordon the area at Barangay Handumanan, Bacolod City, where a man, who celebrated his 55th birthday was shot dead by unidentified armed men Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City Police Office)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino


BACOLOD City – A birthday celebration with family and friends turned deadly after the celebrant was shot dead in front of his house at Purok Saturn, Phase 6B, Barangay Handumanan here on Thursday night.

Police Major Armilyn Vargas, head of Police Station 10, identified the victim as Jose Estaniel, who ran a piggery business.

Vargas said Estaniel was celebrating his 55th birthday as well as the christening of his son when three unidentified assailants wearing face masks arrived and shot him.

The suspects fled on board a red Avanza car without a registration plate.

Vargas said the victim’s family and relatives tried to chase the armed men, but they failed after they heard gunshots during their escape.

The victim was taken by relatives on board a tricycle to Bacolod Adventist Medical Center where he later expired due to multiple gunshot wounds.

Police recovered from the scene three bullets and four ammunition casings of unknown caliber.

Vargas said the victim had no record at the police station and was never involved in any illegal activity.

Police did receive information that Estaniel was an alleged member of the notorious Epogon robbery group that was responsible for the series of robbery and hold-up incidents in Sipalay City and Cauayan town in Negros Occidental in previous years.

But police are still validating the report.

Last month, a tricycle driver who was also linked to the Epogon group was gunned down by unidentified armed men in Barangay Cabug here.