SITG: Automatic rifle used in killing radio blocktimer Rey Cortes

A SLUG of an automatic rifle was found in the body of slain Reynante “Rey” Cortes, who was shot to death after he aired an episode of his radio commentary program at dyRB in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

The discovery of the slug did not yield a breakthrough in the investigation—it confused the medico legal officer of the Crime Laboratory as the bullet had no marks of lands and grooves of the firearm’s barrel. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s forensic sciences division in the US states on its website that “inside the barrels of handguns and rifles are spiral impressions called rifling. The raised portions of the rifling are known as lands and the recessed portions are known as grooves. When a weapon is fired, these lands and grooves cut into the bullet, putting spin on it as it travels through the barrel of a firearm.”

The lands and grooves would help the investigators point to the owner of the firearm—if the firearm was registered.

Col. Josefino Ligan, director of the Cebu City Police Office, said all the registered firearms have their distinct lands and grooves.

During the case conference of the Special Investigatigation Task Group (SITG) Cortes on Friday, July 30, the Crime Laboratory presented the slug that hit the body of the broadcaster, who was about to board his vehicle when he was shot.

The slug’s caliber is 5.66 millimeter, the ammunition of an assault rifle, said Ligan.

A ballistician from the Crime Laboratory said the slug split after it hit Cortes’ left arm, and it is possible the splinter hit the chest. This explains why the medico legal officer found two entry wounds.

Investigators from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7 and the Mambaling Police Station already went to the crime scene, which is located outside the building that houses the studio of dyRB.

They will try to determine where the assailant stood. They will also try to find out if Cortes was killed by a lone gunman or two assailants.

Investigators will try to answer these questions because they learned that there were two bullet trajectories, upward and downward, even if there was only one slug recovered from Cortes’ body, said Ligan.

After Cortes was buried in a cemetery in Mandaue City on Wednesday, July 28, the broadcaster’s family has started to cooperate with the police.

The broadcaster’s cell phone was already turned over to the police. It could contain clues to the identity of his killers. (AYB/KAL)