Malaybalay dentist’s killer a gun-for-hire – police

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 September) – Police today confirmed they already have a suspect in the killing of Dr. Bernadette Tenorio, a dentist, over the weekend.

Senior Supt. Oscar Jacildo, Malaybalay City police chief told MindaNews the features of the man on the cartographic sketch that they made based on the description given by witnesses correspond to those of a gun-for-hire.

The computer-generated sketch had been shown on regional television.

Tenorio was shot past 11a.m. on Sept. 8 at her clinic on Fortich Street by a man who posed as a client.

“A team has been dispatched to close in to the suspect,” he said via telephone.

But Jacildo said it will still take time for them to identify the possible mastermind as they have to exhaust all angles.

“We are leaving no stone unturned in this case,” he said, adding he could not reveal the possible angles in deference to the family’s request to withhold some information at the moment.

The police official said the clinic’s closed circuit television (CCTV) camera would not be of help, as it was unplugged 30 minutes before the suspect arrived so a laptop computer could be charged.

Arnold Tenorio, elder brother of the victim said in a chance interview Monday night at the wake that the gunman appeared to be bent on killing only his sister.

He refused to comment on the identity of the “mastermind” as the family was letting the police investigation “take its course.”

But Tenorio said they are ready to file charges against their suspect if enough evidence could be found.

He refused to give more details but added that “everyone else in Malaybalay knows (who had grudge against the victim.)”

He said the killer posed as a client by inquiring about the price of false teeth. The killer approached the secretary and then spoke with the dentist for about 10 minutes, he quoted a clinic employee as having said.

When a deal was supposedly reached, the killer was asked for identification or an insurance card.

Instead, he drew a gun and pointed it to Tenorio, who, along with a female employee, was able to run towards the rear portion of the clinic.

The killer followed them and pulled the trigger for the single shot that killed the 42-year old dentist.

Sources said the hitman did not harm the female employee and the driver who came to check on what happened. He then walked out of the clinic and crossed the street where a motorcycle-riding accomplice was waiting. They sped off towards Barangay Sumpong.

Tenorio had planned to go to an employee’s house in Impalambong area by midday for the annual fiesta celebration.

She owned Magic Smile Dental Clinic, which has branched out to General Santos and Davao cities.

Tenorio’s remains lie in state at the Villanueva Funeral Homes in Malaybalay City until Sept. 13, and will be cremated in Cagayan de Oro on Sept. 14. Her ashes will be brought to Koronadal City. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)