‘Suddenly they were pushers’
Five people were shot dead at a Malabon City public cemetery late Tuesday night, including a mother and her son who were then celebrating his 26th birthday.
The unidentified men who sprayed bullets on the group left a cardboard sign that tagged them collectively as “drug pushers.” The local police, whose outpost stood only about 30 meters from the massacre site, later produced an incident report linking only two of the victims to the drug trade.
The five fatalities were identified by the police as Myrna Moon, 50; her son Edmund; and their friends Fe Nicanor, 43, a certain Baby and Peter. Moon was a mausoleum caretaker who lived among the informal settlers in the cemetery in Tugatog. Edmund was just visiting her because it was his birthday.
Other settlers interviewed by the Inquirer expressed disbelief after the victims were branded as pushers. “Suddenly there was this sign. Suddenly there was ‘shabu’ at the crime scene. Suddenly, they were bad people. But you know what? They were good people!” one of them said.
“When I saw the media and the police calling them drug pushers, I knew the case was over and there’s no point filing a complaint,” another said.
Another recalled: “When we first reached the scene around midnight, there were only bodies there. When we came back 30 minutes later, the cops and the media were already there showing this sign that they were drug pushers.”
The residents found out about the killings after Edmund’s older brother Edmer ran to them to say that he saw armed men open fire on the group.
They said they knew Moon as an “occasional” drug user but that her son Edmund, who lived and worked as a chef in Makati—was “innocent.”
Edmund, they added, would only visit his mother once a month or on his birthday. They called him “a good man,” “a gentleman,” “someone with bright future” and someone who “hated sex maniacs and rapists.”
“They got the wrong guy. They killed a good guy.”
Peter, one of the victims, was also a mausoleum caretaker. He was already asleep when Edmund arrived shortly before 10 p.m. He then woke Peter up so he could join his birthday treat. “That was the last time we saw them alive,” one resident said.
In an official report obtained by the Inquirer, the Malabon police chief, Senior Supt. John Chua, said four men on two motorcycles shot the victims and left a note that read: “Pusher kami, wag tularan” and “Sunod na kayo papasok na kami jan.”
Chua’s report described Moon as a drug peddler and user, and sons Edmer and Edmund as her “runners” or couriers.
Chua said they were shot at 12:30 a.m. inside the cemetery. The residents, however, said they heard gunshots around 11 p.m.
“The cemetery is a known lair or place for illegal drug transactions and haven of drug users,” the official said. TVJ
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