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Cops eye land dispute in murder of 3 in Kabacan

Local News • 19:11 PM Mon Jul 13, 2015
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Malu C. Manar
The village of Barangay Aringgay, Kabacan, North Cotabato. (photo courtesy of OPAPP)

KIDAPAWAN CITY -Authorities are looking at a deep-seated land conflict as behind the brutal slay of a couple and their 14-year old daughter in a village in Kabacan, North Cotabato, over the weekend. Chief Inspector Ronnie Cordero, chief of Kabacan Police, said it was likely that the victims knew their perpetrators or ‘close to them.’ Cordero said he has already hints as to who could be behind the killings of Roger Gracia, 47, his wife Milka, 49, and daughter Danny Anne, 14. He, however, refused to divulge their identities. The Gracias suffered gunshot wounds in the head. Their bodies were recovered in their house at Purok Pag-asa, Barangay Aringay, Kabacan, around 730 a.m., on Saturday.But Cordero hinted the victims were shot dead around 1130 p.m., on Friday, as shots were heard by some neighbors whose houses were at least five meters away from Gracia's place. There were no signs of resistance or confrontation between the victims and the suspects, the police said. But Cordero found out many of Gracia’s properties were missing, including jewelries, mobile phones, Kia Avila car, and considerable cash. Despite this, Cordero said he is skeptical that robbery was likely the motive for the murders. It is not common for thieves or robbers to kill their victims, especially if they already got the things that they want.In Gracia’s case, I doubt that it was robbery.It is possible that the suspects took Gracia’s belongings to make it appear that it was robbery, when in truth and in fact, it wasn’t,” he said. The Gracias own hectares of land in Barangay Aringay, which allegedly has become the source of conflict between and among their relatives.

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