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Uncle of slain rob-gang leader shot dead

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

The uncle of the Epogon robbery gang leader, who was killed in a shootout with policemen in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental Friday, was shot dead past 9 p.m. Monday in Brgy. Cabug, Bacolod City.

Station 9 chief, P/Lt. Lanie Deriada, identified the victim as Eduardo Cataraja, 55, of Purok Linaya in the barangay.

Deriada said the three suspects fled on foot and then boarded an unidentified vehicle, adding the police still do not know their identities as they were wearing hoods and face masks.

She said Cataraja, who was alone in his house, died on the spot from multiple gunshot wounds.

Police investigators recovered eight fired cartridges of a .45 caliber pistol, one fired cartridge of an M16 rifle, two cellphones, one facemask, one brown wallet containing assorted IDs and cash, one gray sling bag containing some equipment, and documents, at the crime scene.

Deriada said they are looking into the possibility that Cataraja’s link to Eddie Epogon, 25, of San Jose, Sipalay might be the reason behind his killing although they are also investigating other motives.

Cataraja was the brother of Epogon’s mother, who was not named.

Jose Tindoc, Cataraja’s neighbor, said in a radio interview that Epogon and his companions, who introduced themselves as construction workers, lived in the victim’s house back in 2019.

Epogon was linked to several robbery and gun-for-hire activities in Negros Occidental, Iloilo, and Bacolod City, police records show. He was also the suspect in the death of Belgian national Carl Nolens at Villa Angela Subdivision, Brgy. Villamonte, Bacolod City, who was robbed in June last year.*

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