Brothers’ spat ends in death

07/21/2010 - THE sons of former Cebu Provincial Board member Antonio Almirante Jr. got into a fight inside their house yesterday morning, ending in tragedy.

Allan Almirante, 49, died of four gunshot wounds in the chest, ribs and lower abdomen.

His brother, Antonio Almirante III, 44, surrendered to responding policemen from the Argao Police Station.

Allan was found dead on the dining room floor, while Antonio III was in the kitchen when police arrived.

Allan is the second of eight siblings while Antonio III is the fourth child of the former lawmaker and former town mayor.

Antonio III admitted to the arresting officers he shot his brother after the latter tried to attack him with a knife at 9:30 a.m.

When Allan kept challenging him to come out of his room, Antonio decided to scare him off with his 9mm pistol.

When he came out, he saw that Allan was armed with a knife.

He tried pointing it at Allan to get him to back off, but alleged that Allan was not fazed and continued to attack him, leaving him no choice but to shoot.

Police recovered the knife still in Allan’s hand and three empty shells from the area.

They were unable to recover the firearm.

Antonio III said it was licensed and claimed he does not know where it is. He said that after the incident, someone picked it up and put it away during the commotion.

Antonio Almirante Jr., a lawyer, was at a court hearing when he learned what happened to his sons. He had just left the house and the hearing had already started when it all happened.

He told Cebu Provincial Police Chief Erson Digal his sons often fought but the tragedy has left him shaken.

The family declined to issue a statement to reporters who crowded at their house on Rizal St., Sitio Suba, Barangay Poblacion.

Councilor Annabele Almirante-Birondo, eldest daughter of Antonio Jr., said what happened was already painful enough.

Antonio III also shied away from reporters after seeing the cameras clicking and recording his moves.

While reporters got only a few words from Antonio III from the jail cell, he told Digal that Allan has been “harassing” him since their school days.

Allan, who reportedly works at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 in Cebu City, reportedly drinks heavily, said SPO1 Jaime Mendoza of the Argao Police Station.

Digal also said that Antonio III told him Allan used drugs. This, however, was not mentioned during his conversation with Antonio Jr.

Mendoza said that townsfolk know Antonio III as a good man.

“Wala na kuno siya naka-agwanta (He reportedly had enough),” Digal told reporters.

For now, the family has not decided if they will press charges against Antonio III.

Digal said that if they do not file a case, the police will file a murder charge against Antonio III. They will also subject Allan’s remains to an autopsy. (Sunstar)

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