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Gunman of ex-vice mayor’s widow falls

gun bullet gettyLIPA CITY, Batangas – The gunman hired to kill Edelina Ramos, the 55-year-old widow of former Sto. Tomas, Batangas Vice Mayor Ferdinand Ramos, surrendered on Saturday to police in Barangay Kabatang, Tiaong, Quezon.

Lipa City chief of police Police Lt. Col. Ramon Balauag said the suspect, Jerry Rabano, 46, surrendered after three days of surveillance and negotiations with a police asset in the house of Rabano’s relative where he sought refuge days after Edelina was gunned down.

Edelina was killed inside her residence in Poblacion, Barangay 2, Sto. Tomas on June 2 and dumped in Sitio Tagbakin, Barangay Halang, Lipa last June 3.

Police arrested the victim’s daughter-in-law, Joan Zara Ramos, and sister-in-law, Florina Ramos, sister of Ferdinand, in connection with the killing.

Rabano, the Ramoses, and one “John Doe” – presumably Rabano’s male companion, identified only as alias “Pabo,” who helped the suspects carry the victim’s body to a red pick-up vehicle – have been charged with murder before the Tanauan City Prosecutor’s Office. Police are still hunting Pabo.

Balauag said Florina was the mastermind who gave P100,000 to Joan to hire a killer. The Lipa top cop said Rabano received P5,000 downpayment and another P70,000 after the crime.

The remaining P25,000 was allotted for buying a caliber .45 that was used to shoot the victim. The unlicensed firearm was recovered from Rabano with two live ammunitions.

Balauag said Rabano is not a member of a gun-for-hire syndicate or neither a veteran hitman. “He was a freelance gun-for-hire and it seemed he just did it for twice or thrice. He was jailed for five years for an illegal drug-related case here in Lipa,” Balauag said.

Vice Mayor Ramos was shot last year and died after nine months in comatose.

Police suspect Edelina’s killing was connected to Ferdinand’s death which Florina tagged the victim as the mastermind. (Lyka Manalo)