Twenty-five-year-old Raymond Bilbao was a known ladies' man.
"Talaga hong kahit saan, talagang lapitin [siya] ng babae," his father, Romeo Bilbao, said. "Maaaring i-entertain niya kasi wala namang masama diyan kung mag-entertain kahit na anong klaseng babae siya, basta't ang mahalaga diyan ay iyong ine-entertain."
But despite having many admirers, Bilbao never settled down. He was determined to finish his studies, get a good job, and help his family out.
"Sa lahat, 'yan ang pinakamataas talaga ang pangarap sa amin," the elder Bilbao said. "Ang pangarap niya ay mabigyan kami ng nanay niya ng magandang buhay."
Bilbao graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and found a job in the province of Cavite.
His parents were very happy with his achievements, but did not know that he had gotten himself into trouble.
Ladies' man. At 25 years old, Raymond Bilbao had many admirers.
Every parent's nightmare
Around 1:00 a.m. of June 9, 2013, one of the Bilbao couple's relatives came banging at their door, and said that their son was in trouble.
In haste, Bilbao's parents drove off to Cavite.
"Isang oras naming tinakbo mula dito hanggang sa Dasmarinas," Bilbao's father, Romeo, said. "Ngayon tinatanong ko ang aking kapatid kung saan nangyari, ang sabi raw ay sa langkaan. Ang nasa isip ko na lang ay tinambangan sa daan."
They arrived at the location where their son supposedly was, but were told that he was no longer there. They proceeded to the police station and were told to go to the funeral home. There, they finally saw Raymond Bilbao.
"Nung nakatihaya 'yung bangkay, kita ko na 'yung anak ko. Nung pagtagilid na ganyan, kita ko 'yung putok, parang sunog ng sigarilyo," his mother, Teresita, tearfully recalled. "Sabi ko, Diyos ko, anong ginawa nila sa anak ko. Hindi ko maipaliwanag. Napakasakit sa kalooban."
Based on autopsy results, the victim sustained seven gunshot wounds. There were also signs that Raymond was shot at close range.
The crime scene. Based on autopsy results, 25-year-old Raymond Bilbao sustained seven gunshot wounds.
Among the items recovered at the crime scene was Raymond's company I.D. Through the information on the said I.D., the authorities contacted the victim's officemates.
One of them was Raymond’s close friend, "Mike".
According to Mike, months before he was murdered, Raymond was seeing a woman named "Ehra", who was married with kids.
"Ang pagkakakwento niya sa akin, Pare, nagkikita kami ni Ehra. Sabi ko, ha? 'Di ba may asawa na 'yun? Iwasan mo na 'yun!" Mike said. "Pinayuhan ko. Tapos sabi niya, oo, iiwasan ko na."
Little did Mike know that his friend continued seeing Ehra.
Then one day, Ehra resigned from work.
"Ang pagkakabanggit sa akin ni Emon nga, nag-resign na raw 'yung babae kasi nag-aaway raw sila dahil sa selos," Mike said. "Nakatunog 'yung asawa niya o hindi din natin masabi kung kinwento o natunugan."
Aside from Mike, the authorities also spoke to Edwina Del Pilar, another officemate of Raymond's.
According to Edwina, days after Ehra resigned, she received several text messages asking for Bilbao's number. The sender claimed that she was Ehra. But since Edwina didn't recognize the number, she chose not to reply.
Mike added that on the night Bilbao was murdered, the victim received a text message from somebody claiming to be Ehra.
"Ipinabasa niya lang sa akin. Ang sabi dun, 'Basta sunduin mo ako sa may langkaan'," Mike said.
When the authorities checked Ehra's employment records, they discovered that the number used to send messages to Edwina and Raymond belonged to Ehra's husband, Mark Anthony Mendoza.
The authorities then believed that it was Ehra's husband Mark who actually sent the message to Bilbao to lure him to the crime scene.
Unfortunately, they didn't have sufficient evidence at that time to link Mark to the crime. Then, a witness surfaced.
According to the witness, Wilfredo Martinez, on the night of June 8, 2013, he saw two men talking at the crime scene.
"Nakita niya na merong dalawang lalaki na nag-uusap at mga ilang metro na [siyang] nakakalayo ay nakarinig ng sunud-sunod na putok ang witness natin na si Wilfredo," P/Sinsp. Fermel dela Druz, Chief of the Dasmarinas PNP Investigation Section, said.
"Paglingon niya nga, ang nakita niya dun, 'yun ang bumabaril sa biktima na hanggang sa nakahiga na, binabaril pa."
The authorities added that Mendoza had the strongest motive to murder Raymond.
"Ang lumalabas na motibo diyan, matinding selos," Dela Cruz said.
Mark Anthony Warren Mendoza was then charged with murder at the Dasmarinas Prosecutor's Office.
Unfortunately, the suspect went into hiding.
Justice for Raymond Bilbao
Six months after the murder of Raymond Bilbao, the authorities spotted Mendoza near his home and immediately arrested him.
The suspect denied the allegations against him but the authorities were confident that the evidence against him would hold.
Mendoza is currently detained at the Dasmarinas detention cell.
The Bilbaos, in the meantime, have begun their long journey to justice.
"Bagama't may pagkakamali ang anak ko, hindi dapat sa ganung paraan. May hustisya naman 'di ba?" Raymond’s mother, Teresita, said.
"Gusto kong mahatulan siya, na pagdusahan niya 'yung ginawa niya sa kulungan."
Aired on March 22, 2014