AFTER a five-day massive manhunt, Laguna policemen yesterday captured a gay guard who shot and killed a 15-year-old student in Calamba City, Laguna.
Reynaldo Estrope Valderama, 35, a native of Del Gallego, Camarines Sur residing in Bgy. Masili, Calamba City, Laguna, will be facing charges for murder and violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act, said a report to Police Regional Office 4-A director Brig. Gen. Edward Carranza.
According to Laguna Police Provincial Office director Col. Eleazar Matta, the suspect, who was previously described as “armed and dangerous,” was arrested by the local police following tips from students who recognized and followed Valderama.
The local government earlier offered a P100,000 reward for any information that would lead to the capture of the suspect.
Yesterday, Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez handed over to Calamba City Police Station chief Lt. Col. Jacinto Malinao Jr. the P100,000 bounty following the arrest of Valderama.
Matta said that prior to the arrest of Valderama, a local resident approached crewmen of a Calamba City police mobile car stationed in Bgy. Bucal at 4 a.m. yesterday and informed the officers of the presence of the suspect in the village.
Officers went to the site and chanced upon the suspect, who was walking on the railroad tracks, and promptly arrested him.
Recovered from the suspect was a backpack containing a cal. .38 revolver with four live ammunition. The gun is owned by Valderama’s employer.
Malinao said that a background check showed that the suspect was jailed for a theft case in 2017.
Matta said that during questioning, the suspect confessed that over the past five days, he stayed in the hilly portion of the nearby Bgy. Masili and only went to the Laguna de Bay lakeside just to drink water.
“He became so hungry for lack of water and food during the five days he was in hiding, thus, he was forced to go to Bgy. Bucal to look for food,” said Matta who added that commendations will be given to the policemen who arrested the suspect.
The suspect went into hiding after shooting Mark Anthony Miranda in a classroom of Castor Alviar National High School in Bgy. Masili in Calamba City at 12:30 p.m. on July 4.
Matta said that the suspect used different aliases, including “Renando Villarama” or “Renz Ivan Valderrama” in his Facebook account to conceal his real identity.
The official said that officers arrested the suspect after getting tips from local residents as well as students who recognized him in Bgy. Pansol.
Before the arrest, the suspect was seen near the wake of the victim and was said to have threatened the latter’s classmates with harm should they inform the police of his whereabouts.
The suspect was able to enter the school compound by mingling with construction workers who had entered the premises. Without any warning, he went straight to the victim’s classroom and shot Miranda twice before fleeing.
Relatives of the victim admitted that the victim and the suspect had a “relationship” after the teenager was forced to have romantic liaisons with the guard due to poverty. The victim’s father is already dead while his mother is in jail on drug-related charges.
With Gil Aman