March 26, 2023

A 56-year-old businesswoman died after being shot by an unidentified assailant while her daughter was wounded for trying to block the suspect from escaping.

The fatality was identified as Lorna Simon Aquino and her daughter, Karen Aquino Santiago, 28, who are residents of Pico, La Trinidad, Benguet.

In the report of the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, the victims were inside their eatery at 7:35 p.m. of Dec. 22 when an unidentified male suspect went inside and shot Aquino. Santiago instinctively blocked the suspect from escaping but the suspect embraced her from behind and fired his gun, hitting her nose and cheek.

The suspect then ran towards Pico Road and boarded a Toyota Wigo silver without an attached license plate as his getaway vehicle and fled towards Barangay Puguis.

Aquino, who was also working as a real estate agent, was rushed to the Benguet General Hospital but was pronounced dead by the attending physician.

Her daughter was also brought to the hospital and was released after being treated of her injuries.

The remains of Aquino also underwent autopsy by the PNP crime laboratory.

The LTMPS is now conducting hot pursuit operation against the suspects, studying CCTV footages from the establishment nearby to identify the assailants.

LTMPS Chief, Maj. Roldan Cabatan, meanwhile, reminded the public to be vigilant, especially during the holiday season.

Cabatan said they have beefed up their personnel to be visible in major thoroughfares of the municipality such as the trading post and at Km. 5 market, the line of grocery shops at Km. 4, and the Strawberry Farm, which is  frequented by tourists. – Ofelia C. Empian