PAF sergeant linked to Fil-Am’s slay
A sergeant of the Philippine Air Force has been arrested for hiring a gunman who killed a 63-year-old Filipino-American inside a taxi cab in Valenzuela City on Oct. 18.
Staff Sgt. Gilberto Canada Raro Jr., 39, confessed to the crime when the police caught up with him in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan on Saturday following a two-day surveillance operation.
He admitted to hiring Avelino Tamayo Jr. who was identified as the man who killed Fil-Am Antonio Fermo, according to SPO4 Antonio Delima of the Valenzuela police.
Tamayo was also arrested during a follow-up operation in front of a mall in Calamba, Laguna, on Sunday morning.
Recovered from him was the 9mm pistol believed to have been used in the shooting of Fermo.
The police said they confirmed Raro’s active duty status through his Armed Forces of the Philippines identification card and statements of witnesses.
Raro’s job included providing security for VIPs, including a prominent political family, said SPO2 Felix Biernes.
The Air Force sergeant told investigators that he was paid P100,000 by a German woman, whom he used to work for as a bodyguard, to kill Fermo.
The German had complained that Fermo duped her into giving him $10,000 in exchange for arranging a sham marriage which would allow her to become an American citizen. The deal, however, fell through.
Raro said he hired Tamayo for P50,000 to kill Fermo. It was Tamayo who went to the victim’s house in Manotoc Subdivision, Barangay Marulas, on Oct. 18 to inquire about a property the Fil-Am was renting out, the police said.
The victim and gunman left the house two hours later in a cab that had been waiting for them out front.
The cab driver, Ferdinand Marcon Cawelan, earlier told police that two men, later identified as Raro and Tamayo, had hailed him at Monumento.
They asked him to bring them to Fermo’s house and to wait for them.
While on board the cab, the gunman shot the victim, alighted from the vehicle and then got into a white van which had been following the taxi.
Raro later told the police that he was the driver of the getaway van.
Through the van’s license plate which was identified through the footage taken by a closed-circuit television camera on MacArthur Highway where the victim was shot, investigators ended up at San Jose del Monte, Bulacan province where Raro was caught.
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