Two Chinese diplomats shot dead in Cebu resto
CEBU CITY—A birthday luncheon for a staff member of the Chinese consulate in a restaurant here turned tragic on Wednesday when the husband of a consular officer allegedly shot and killed two of her fellow officers.
The motive, however, remained unknown as the suspects—Li Qing Ling, 60, and his wife, Consul Gou Jing—were still in police custody undergoing questioning.
Chief Supt. Prudencio Tom Bañas, police director for Central Visayas, told the Inquirer that investigators had difficulty getting the statement because they had to look for an interpreter.
The fatalities were identified as Chinese Deputy Consul Sun Shan and finance officer Hui Li. They died while receiving treatment in two different hospitals, said the city’s police director.
Chinese Consul General Song Rong Hua was wounded but was in stable condition in a hospital here, Bañas said.
Councilor Dave Tumulak, head of Cebu City’s Command Center, said Sun suffered a gunshot wound in the neck and Hui in the head.
Bañas said Song made a reservation for a function room at Lighthouse Restaurant on General Maxilom Avenue here to celebrate the birthday of a staff member.
At least nine Chinese nationals attended the luncheon, including Li and Gou, Bañas said.
He said that based on the statements of food servers, the group was taking lunch about 1:20 p.m. when an argument broke out.
“They knew there was a heated argument because voices were raised,” he said.
The argument was followed by gunshots in the function room.
There were reports that Hui was shot first but Bañas could not confirm this.
He said the police had yet to determine what caused the argument and who were involved.
Recovered from the crime scene were one .45 cal. Colt Defender, three empty shells, two deformed slugs and one live ammunition.
Police said that based on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, Li was seen holding the gun as Hui fell, apparently after shooting her.
He then placed the gun on the table. In another footage, a woman, whom the police identified as Gou, was holding the gun while walking apparently out of the restaurant.
“That is why she is considered a person of interest,”
Bañas said, adding that the details of the shooting remain sketchy.
Arrested in consulate
Li and Gou were arrested at the Chinese consulate office in the Cebu Business Park after they were able to slip past the police cordon.
The couple were identified through the CCTV footage.
Tumulak said he received a call from the Chinese consulate shortly after the shooting about 1:20 p.m. to verify reports on Song’s condition.
Some members of the Chinese community in Cebu were also calling other city officials to verify reports on the shooting, he added.
“It’s sad that the incident happened in the city, especially during a time when Mayor Michael Rama is out of town,” Tumulak said. Rama is on an official trip in Japan.
A spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy in Manila, Li Lingxiao, said she could not comment immediately.
“Our embassy is still verifying the facts. We’ll update you as soon as I have anything new,” Li said in a text message to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Charles Jose, also said he had no comment, as authorities were still determining what happened. With reports from Doris C. Bongcac, Inquirer Visayas; Nancy Carvajal and Christine Avendaño in Manila; and AFP
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