By Malu Cadelina Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY – A suspected hired killer shot dead a 45-year old hardware store owner in Makilala, North Cotabato, past 8 a.m., Wednesday, police reports said.
Makilala Police identified the victim as Ernesto Palardo, owner of ERMAC Roll-up Doors and Hardware Store located at Barangay Saguing, Makilala, North Cotabato.
Mang Ben, one of Palardo’s workers, told police he saw two men, onboard a black Honda Wave motorcycle, arrive at the place, just a few minutes after they opened the store for business.
Palardo, at that time, was onboard a forklift when one of the gunmen approached and shot him in the neck, according to Mang Ben.
“After the gunman made sure Palardo was dead, he went back to his motorcycle parked just in front of the store and sped towards the Kidapawan City area,” the worker said.
He added that both the gunmen were obviously hired killers and stood 5 feet and four inches, were of slight built, and sported military haircut.
“Mga hired killers talaga ang mga ‘yun, kasi, pagkatapos nilang barilin ang amo ko sumakay sila ng motorsiklo at tumakas nang parang wala lang nangyari,” he recounted.
Reports reaching Makilala Police said that a day before the murder, a man, and a woman had a heated altercation with Palardo. The girl, during the confrontation, took a photo of Palardo, the witnesses told police.
Calixto said they have yet to determine the motive for Palardo’s killing and those behind the crime.