Casino lender suspected in another lender’s murder nabbed for high-powered firearms in Argao town

A LENDER to casino gamblers who may have been involved in the recent murder of another lender has been arrested by police after 10 high-powered firearms were recovered from his possession.

Suspect Rolando Pantinople, who is also known as Enting or Tingting, was caught in his residence in Sitio Malacarong, Barangay Usmad in Argao, southern Cebu on Tuesday morning, March 7, 2023.

The Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) served the search warrant against the suspect in his residence as his vehicle could have been used in the fatal shooting of casino lender Conrado Cosares, 44, in Mandaue City last Jan. 31.

Cosares and Pantinople were in the business of lending money to gamblers in the same casino in the city, police said.

Cosares’ murder could be related to his livelihood, according to Lt. Col. Franco Rodulf Oriol, deputy director for operations of the MCPO.

Personnel of the MCPO and Argao Police Station served the search warrant issued by Argao Regional Trial Court Branch 26 Judge Noel Darren Damian.

They recovered inside the suspect’s vehicle four .45 pistols, a .40 pistol, an M-16 assault rifle, two shotguns, a .22 pistol with a silencer, a .357 magnum revolver, magazines and bullets.

The firearms seized from Pantinople, 46, were all unlicensed, Oriol said.

Cosares’ murder

Cosares was shot twice in the head by two unidentified men on board a gray-black motorcycle along E.O. Perez St. in Barangay Subangdaku.

Oriol said that based on their investigation, closed-circuit television footage showed that the gunmen had alighted from a sport utility vehicle that is similar to the vehicle owned by the suspect before they boarded a motorcycle to tail and eventually shoot the victim dead.

The police official said Pantinople could have served as the hitmen’s lookout, but they still have to conduct a deeper probe to determine the suspect’s involvement in the murder of Cosares.