By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – One of the two motorcycle-riding suspects confessed to the police that he was the one who shot to death a woman in front of the Metro Bacolod District Jail (MBDJ)-male dormitory in Barangay Singcang-Airport here last Aug 18, 2019.
Police Major Charles Gever, head of Police Station 8, said Tyron Barena, 27, of Barangay Taculing admitted to killing Crystal Faith Jastiva, 25, of Barangay Poblacion, Bago City, Negros Occidental, through an extrajudicial confession he executed before the police and his lawyer last Sept 3 at Police Station 4.
Based on his extrajudicial confession, Barena said he was fetched by his friend at his house morning of Aug 18 and was told to familiarize their escape route.
In the afternoon, they stayed in front of the jail and waited for their target about three minutes after his friend talked with someone on the phone.
When their target (Jastiva) came out of the jail after visiting her partner who was arrested in a drug bust two months ago, Barena said he then shot the victim on orders of his friend.
Jastiva died on the spot.
Gever said Barena told the police that he committed the crime because he felt pressured to pay his P10,000 debt to his friend.
“He was allegedly threatened to be killed if he fails to follow the instructions of his friend,” Gever said.
Gever also said that Barena didn’t know their target as he only based the order from his friend, who gave him P2,000 cash after the incident.
Gever said Barena was not forced to make the confession.
“It was his own free will to speak because he was guilty of what happened,” he added.
Gever said it was Barena’s first time to commit the crime because of his problem, adding that the latter knew his friend for about a year now.
With his confession, Gever said they now have a strong evidence for the filing of charges against him and his friend.
Gever said they already have the identity of his friend.
Despite the confession, he said they are still not discounting the possibility that Jastiva’s death was drug-related.
“We will still continue our investigation until we could also locate the whereabouts of the other suspect to determine if somebody told them to commit the crime,” he added.
Barena is detained at Police Station 4 after he was arrested at Barangay 26 last August 23 for illegal possession of firearm and illegal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Barena was riding a motorcycle driven by his unidentified companion when they were spotted by Police Station 4 personnel who were conducting mobile patrol at Barangay 20.
They were told to stop as they were not wearing helmets but they instead fled.
A brief chase followed until Barena was arrested at Barangay 26, when he fell from the motorcycle. His companion escaped.
Police recovered from Barena’s backpack a .45-caliber pistol, a magazine loaded with five ammunitions, an extra magazine loaded with five more ammunitions, and an improvised tooter. He is now facing two criminal charges for possession of unlicensed firearms and illegal drug paraphernalia.
Gever said Barena earlier identified his companion during the chase as Jason Gumban but he also later confessed that it was a fictitious name.
He added that they already have the real identity of the motorcycle driver.
Meanwhile, police will conduct cross matching of the bullets recovered from the scene of the incident and the recovered firearm from Barena to check if the same firearm was used in the incident.
Copies of the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage corroborated Barena’s statements, Gever said.
The shooting incident in front of the jail and near the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) earlier got mixed reactions from the public because of its proximity to the PNP headquarters.
But police maintained that they are doing their best to solve the crimes committed by criminals who strike anywhere if there’s opportunity.
With this development, Gever said there is an assurance that police are still acting to solve the crimes here.
Barena refused to be interviewed.