By Jennifer P. Rendon
Seven persons were arrested in a follow-up operation on the killing of a bar waiter early morning of July 11, 2023.
Six of them were arrested at 4:10 a.m. on July 12 at dela Rama Street, Barangay Zamora-Melliza, City Proper, Iloilo City.
They were identified as Julius Inesoria, 58; his sister, Myla Inesoria, 52; and Julius’s son, Rene John Inesoria, 20; Jurex Amoroso, 32. All are residents of the said place.
Also arrested were Jesus Gecaraya, 24, and Johnley Cadiz, 30, both residents of Bangga Inday, Zone 5, Barangay Calumpang, Molo, Iloilo City
The alleged gunman, a certain Ricardo Amoroso, escaped. Ricardo is Myla’s live-in partner and Jurex’s father.
Ricardo was allegedly the one who shot Alejandro Panes, Jr. while backriding on the motorcycle driven by John Rey.
Julius is an e-bike driver while his son and Jurex are tricycle drivers.
Gecaraya works as a shoemaker while Cadiz is a construction worker.
Panes, a waiter at MO2 Restobar at Smallville Complex in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, succumbed to a gunshot wound on the lower left portion of his back. The bullet exited from the right side of his abdomen.
Gecaraya and Jurex allegedly served as lookouts.
During their arrest, police recovered from their possession two caliber .45 pistols, 18 sachets of suspected shabu, two magazines and 6 ammunition of caliber .45 pistol, a fragmentation grenade, a black sling bag, and two motorcycles.
Captain Benjie Dicen, Iloilo City Police Station 4 chief, said the seized illegal drugs weighed around 85 grams and were valued at P578,000.
At 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday, police also arrested John Mendez, 42, of Barangay Monica-Blumentritt, City Proper.
It appeared that Myla had prevented the police from going inside their house to allow Ricardo to flee.
Ricardo and Mendez escaped from the area. Police scoured the vicinity and later caught Mendez hiding in a row of trees at Zamora-dela Rama village.
Recovered from his possession were four sachets of suspected shabu, a caliber .9mm revolver with three ammunitions, and other non-drug items.
Mendez told police that Amoroso allegedly left the firearm with him before fleeing.
Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Benitez Jr., Iloilo City Police Office – City Intelligence Unit (ICPO-CIU) chief, said they have two witnesses who identified Ricardo Amoroso and Rene John Amoroso.
“Our investigation started from there until we zeroed in on the area where they are hiding,” Benitez said.
Benitez said they could not determine the definite motive for Panes’ shooting.
But it looks like Panes might have angered a bar’s client, who is close to Ricardo.
“It’s just one of the angles. We’re looking at other possible motives,” he said.
Benitez said the drugs found in the area was the supply given to Ricardo Amoroso.
Police are checking reports that he was arrested for a drug-related offense several years ago and was released after a plea bargaining agreement.
As this developed, police are preparing murder charges against Ricardo Amoroso, Rene John Amoroso, Gecanaya, and Jurex Amoroso.
Julius Amoroso will be charged for violations of Republic Act 9166 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002), RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act), and RA 9516 or illegal possession of explosives.
Cadiz will also be charged for violation of RA 9165 while Myla will face an obstruction of justice case.
Meanwhile, Mendez will be charged for violations of RA 9165 and RA 10591.