Passi City police apprehend shooting suspect

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Passi City police has apprehended the suspected shooter in a swift manhunt following the tragic incident on the morning of March 11 in Passi City, Iloilo.

July Palma, a 45-year-old resident of Barangay Cabunga, was taken into custody at his farm in Barangay Buyo around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Benjo Clarite, the police chief of Passi City, said they caught Palma over 15 kilometers from Barangay Sablogon, the location of the shooting.

Clarite confirmed that an eyewitness positively identified Palma as the individual who fatally shot Roselia Andrada.

Andrada, who lived in Barangay Man-it, was attending to her store when the attacker, masquerading as a customer on a motorcycle, opened fire, striking her three times on the right side of her face.

Andrada succumbed to her injuries at the hospital.

Palma was seen frequenting Andrada’s store prior to the attack, as per the witness’s statement. CCTV footages also captured the suspect, further aiding the investigation.

But Clarite said the motive behind the shooting remains unclear at this time.

“We couldn’t establish the link between the victim and Palma,” he said, and when asked if the suspect could be a gun-for-hire, Clarite neither confirmed nor denied the possibility.

Palma, who is currently out on bail for previous charges of frustrated murder and a violation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act (Republic Act 10591), has denied any involvement in the incident.

He claims he was with his son at the time Andrada was killed.