Have you wondered why bad things happen to good people? It shatters our hearts when gruesome and uncalled-for things happen to people with a golden heart.
In October last year, Gerardo Amolato Maquidato Jr. was one of the driver awardees of Grab Philippines recognized for giving a courtesy ride to a sick passenger. His story went viral after the passenger's family posted about him on Facebook.
Divine Lactao Ornum booked a GrabCar for her sister, Prima, who was on her way to Quezon City to pick up bags of blood for her dialysis.
Maquidato was in the area and was less than a minute away. Maquidato picked her up but did not ask for payment for the trip out of kindness.
Unfortunately, a year after winning the award, Maquidato became a victim of one of the most grisly killings that have happened to a Grab driver in the Philippines.
On the early evening of October 26, 2017, Maquidato was found dead after assailants shoved him out and stole his silver Toyota Innova along Bonanza Street in Pasay City. Witnesses near the scene heard gunshots which prompted them to report to the police.
The authorities immediately asked Grab for the victim's recorded passengers. The largest ride-hailing company was compliant and told the media that they have provided the Philippine National Police with all the necessary information to help with the investigation.
In a statement, the transport company said, "Grab is one with authorities in making sure that justice will be served and perpetrators will be put behind bars.
Our prayers and sympathies go out to Mr. Maquidato's family. He was a good father to his four children, a good friend to many of his fellow drivers, and a good driver who was always willing to outserve his passengers."
Grab also offered a P100,000-bounty for information that can lead to the capture of Maquidato's killers.
During that time, there have been six recorded cases of carnapping incidents involving Grab's partner-drivers. The suspects all booked and rode like regular passengers.
A few weeks later, the authorities had a significant break when they identified one of the suspects. One of them is Narc Tulod Delemios, also known as "Miko."
He was identified through Giselle Capati, his live-in partner, who coordinated with the Pasay City Police and admitted that her cellphone was used by Delemios to book a Grab car.
According to the initial investigation, Delemios and his cohorts booked a ride with Maquidato on the eve of his saddening death before eventually killing him and stealing his vehicle.
This was not Delemios' first time killing a man. Earlier, he was a prime suspect in Gino Balbuena's killing, a 19-year-old boy that was shot to death. Delemios also had a standing warrant of arrest issued by a Parañaque court in 2015.
Meanwhile, another witness, who requested not to be identified for his or her safety, told the police the Delemios killed Balbuena while playing cara y cruz on October 10, 2014, Baclaran.
However, Balbuena's sister said a possible motive for her brother's killing was a petty quarrel in a basketball game and that a certain Jeric Lim was an accomplice of Delemios.
On November 7, 2017, a day after being identified by the authorities as the suspect for Gerardo Amolato Maquidato Jr's killing, Delemios surrendered to the authorities and confessed to them what he did to his victim.
Gino Balbuena's relatives rushed to the Pasay police station an hour after Maquidato surrendered to the police. However, they were not allowed to see the suspect as his statement was still being taken by the police.
Still, it was a welcome development for Gino's mother, Gaillee. She said, "This will be a good Christmas gift to our family from God. We will finally get justice."
Gaillee insisted it was Delemios, a friend of Gino's at the time, who shot her son on October 10, 2014, near the corner of Bagong Sikat and Narra Extensions Streets in Baclaran, Parañaque City.
She recalled that Delemios and her son were then playing basketball when Gino accidentally struck him with an elbow. She said, "Delemios was fuming mad when he left. A few minutes later, he returned on a motorcycle and shot my son three times."
The police then conducted a press conference in Camp Crame where the suspect explained why he killed Maquidato. He said, "Pera lang po ang gusto kong kuhanin sa kanya, pero ininsist po niya, Lumaban po siya kaya ko po nagawa na ganoon."
The suspect was also confronted by Maquidato's widow and mother during that time. They told Delemios that he should have let his victim live instead of killing him.
Two days after Delemios' confession, the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, with the Pasay City police's help, has arrested Jeric Lim, his co-accused in Gino Balbuena's killing inside a mall in Dasmarinas City, Cavite.
Several months have passed, the Maquidato case took a dramatic turn of events when Delemios took a page out of the US hit TV series Prison Break after escaping prison at night through the roof. Subsequently, the police launched a manhunt against the suspect and vowed not to let justice slip off the next time they see Delemios.
Delemios escape led to the firing of the jail warden, Superintendent Bernie Ruiz, and six custodial officers.
Three months later, the cops had a tip from a concerned citizen regarding Delemios' whereabouts. According to the unnamed source, the fugitive was hiding at Barangay 148, Zone 16, in Pasay City.
Police Senior Inspector Manuel Taytayon and 8 police officers quickly went to Delemios' hideout where he was armed and dangerous.
After seeing the cops who were pursuing him, he suddenly fired his pistol several times in their direction, which caught Inspector Taytayon's body several times that eventually killed him.
The remaining cops then overpowered Delemios and shot him dead on the spot. Finally, putting an end to the fugitive's life.
As for the bloody crime scene, the authorities recovered Delemios' 9-mm Taurus gun, 18 pieces of fired cartridge cases, 3 fired bullets, and 5 live ammunition pieces.
The PNP honored Police Senior Inspector Manuel Taytayon's service by awarding him a medal of merit for sacrificing his life and promised to take care of his family. Delemios' ways of wreaking havoc finally came to an end.
Do you want to know the tragic loss of a man on the eve of Christmas who was helplessly shot to death in front of his wife? Check out The Murder of Rhyan Cuarteros episode of PH Murder Stories.
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