Cops eye murder raps vs gunman’s cohort


John Paul Lopez, house caretaker of suspect Ronald Bae, at the CIDG in Imus, Cavite. EDWIN BELLOSILLO/INQUIRER PHOTO

IMUS, Cavite, Philippines–Police are set to file charges of multiple murder against John Paul Lopez, the companion of the gunman responsible for the rampage that left eight people dead and 12 others wounded.

Senior Superintendent Alexander Rafael, Cavite police director, Saturday said their decision to charge Lopez was based on the accounts of three residents.

He said the witnesses recounted how Lopez “willfully handed over” the bullets to the gunman, Ronald Bae, to reload the .45 caliber pistol used in the shooting spree in Kawit, Cavite on Friday.

“(Lopez) also did not appear constrained,” Rafael said, contrary to Lopez’s claim that he was forced.

Lopez, 27, from Rosario, Cavite was turned over to the authorities by his relatives at around 6 p.m. on Friday. He was the caretaker of Bae’s house in Barangay Tabon I, Kawit.

Even if Lopez did not fire the gun, “it was established that he was a conspirator. We are preparing a case of multiple murder with counts according to the number of persons killed,” said Chief Insp.

Reynaldo Magdaluyo, chief of the Cavite Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit which now has custody over Lopez.

Nine people, including the gunman, were killed in the carnage that left a close-knit neighborhood in fear. The police on Saturday identified them as Alberto Fernandez, 55; Boyet Toledo; Irene Funelas, 38; Al Drio, 20; Michaella Andrea Caimol, 7; two-month pregnant Rhea de Vera, 34; and de Vera’s daughter Jan Monica, 3. A list from the Cavite provincial government, however, included, a certain Adoracion Cabrera.

The police said 12 others, two of them children, were injured.

It remains uncertain as to what triggered Bae to snap but his wife, Maria Elena, told police that his husband had been acting strange since Dec. 30.

She also said Bae, who had stopped taking shabu a long time ago, suffered a relapse in October.

“She said (Bae) was hallucinating and they always fought since,” Rafael said.

According to the wife, John Paul celebrated the New Year’s Eve with them in Guagua, Pampanga but he and Bae left for Kawit the following morning.  Bae also owned a rest house in Tagaytay City, but it was not clear what his source of income was.

Rafael said Bae tested positive of alcohol, based on initial autopsy findings but they have to conduct further tests to see if he was under the influence of drugs.

The Cavite police was held responsible over the mass murder, especially after it was discovered the murder weapon was unlicensed.

But Rafael said the Kawit police did not receive any report that Bae had fired his gun indiscriminately days prior to the shooting spree.

“Not a single report, otherwise we would have acted on it,” he said.

He also denied reports that the police response came too late.

“It was a tricycle driver, who was able to rush two wounded victims to the hospital, who came to the (police) station and reported it first. In three to five minutes, our men were at the scene,” Rafael said.

But a resident, interviewed by the INQUIRER, said he was able to call the police for help from his phone while hiding from the gunman behind a concrete wall. He said it took some time before the police arrived.

The crime scene was around five kilometers from the Kawit police station.

Chief Insp. Joel Saliva, Kawit police chief, was relieved from his post and replaced by Chief Insp. Egbert Tibayan.

Rafael also said they would beef up their campaign against loose firearms and road checkpoints in all towns and cities.

There are currently around 7,700 unlicensed firearms in Cavite alone.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Ommm

    Somewhat fitting this “John Paul Lopez” should reflect the catholic church so much in his name…yet be the worlds greatest robotic coward.

    Preparing charges??…i would think we should be hanging this person early Sunday morning…

  • Lumad01

    Dapat ma chop chop ang buang kasi dumami pa ang lahi niyang.pagakain sa buwaya..makaganti man lamang.

  • Homer Guo

    magpa-shooting contest at si john paul ang target. sasali ako. gusto ko sya ang magre-load ng baril hangga’t di sya bulagta, para masaya.

  • Wel Aguda

    Lintik ka ngpakita k pa.Isa kang demonyo. 

  • Fred

    Alam pala ninyo na mayroong 7,700 unlicensed firearms, eh ano pa ang ginagawa ninyo?
    Maski kalahati lang marecover ninyo, malaking bagay na yan!

  • Rovingmoron

    Perhaps, Bae and Lopez took “bath salt”, instead of shabu. That new stuff makes users crazy.

  • opinyonlangpo

    Lame. The police are just looking for a fallguy to avoid the attention of the angry public towards their equally or more guilty participation in the crime. First they allowed the killer to own guns, second they still allowed him to be scot free even after drug related complaints were filed to their office. The police authorities are more guilty than this intimidated fallguy. 

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos