Valentine’s Day has just passed and we are reminded that not all love stories end happily. In fact, many of these end tragically.
The love story of Noel Orate Sr. and former Quezon City Rep. Nanette Castelo-Daza is one.
Orate died from gunshot wounds in the Daza residence in Quezon City last Friday (February 10). The shooter is Daza’s son-in-law, Allan Robes.
The circumstances of Orate’s death is replete with controversies, one that could provide a storyline for a suspense-drama-mystery movie.
SPO1 Joselito Gagaza said the incident took place past 11 p.m. inside Daza’s house at 51 Maningning St., Barangay Teacher’s Village East.
Supt. Rodelio Marcelo of the Quezon City Police District Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit head said Daza asked for police assistance at 10:45 p.m. due to an ongoing commotion at her house.
Responding policemen Sr. Insp. Gloriano Manalo and PO2 Wenzel Nojor of station 9 came and heard successive gunshots as they approached the house.
The two policemen said they saw the suspect, who later turned out to be Allan Robes, coming out of the house holding a gun.
Robes, a board member of San Jose del Monte City and husband of councilor Jessica Daza, immediately dropped the gun upon seeing the police. He immediately surrendered.
The people in the house at the time were Daza, her son, Robes, his wife Jessica and the housemaids.
In an interview, Daza said Orate Sr. tried to take them all hostage and if not for Robes, all of them would have been dead. Robes has undergone inquest for homicide charges.
Daza said she already broke up with Orate last January 18. And on that fateful Friday night, Orate arrived at her residence, demanding a reconciliation. According to her, a drunk Orate threatened to kill her family if she didn’t take him back.
In a separate press conference, her daughter Jessica Daza-Robes, who is seven months pregnant said her husband had to do what he had to do. She said a drunk Orate arrived with a gun.
Lawyer Alfredo Villamor, Daza’s counsel said Robes simply wanted to protect his wife, their unborn child, and his mother-in-law.
In a statement, the Daza camp said there were reports that Orate was drinking with friends in a Quezon City tennis court and was reportedly feeling depressed over his break-up when he decided to proceed to Daza’s house that night.
The statement said that once at Daza’s house, Orate reportedly engaged Daza in a heated argument. At the height of the discussion, Orate was said to have herded Daza, her daughter, and son-in-law in one of the rooms. He then pulled out his gun, threatening to kill them one by one before shooting himself.
Unknown to Orate, Robes had a gun of his own, which was placed in his pant’s pocket. “Dito na matatapos ito. Headline tayo bukas,” Orate reportedly said. When Orate raised his hand with the gun, Robes immediately grabbed it and a violent scuffle between the two ensued. Moments later, shots were fired from Robes gun sending Orate down the floor bloodied.
Orate’s son Noel Jr. however claimed it was his father who had ended the relationship and that Daza was the one who summoned his father Friday night.
Orate Jr.’s lawyer, Eduardo Bringas noted that the victim’s body was facing the floor when he died. He said this indicted that the victim was killed from behind. He added that three of the shots were to the victim’s heart, which he claimed showed that the suspect “made sure” that the victim would die.
Orate Jr. maintained that Robes should have been charged with murder and not homicide. He noted that if it was an act of self-defense, his father should not have been shot repeatedly in the chest. He also doubted that his father was drunk that night, noting that the victim’s vehicle was properly parked outside the Daza residence.
Orate Jr. also claimed that Daza had called up his grandparents in the United States, telling them that their son had committed suicide.
Last Sunday (February 19), the remains of Orate were laid to rest. Noel Jr., who said he’s a dead ringer for his father, vowed to fight for justice. In his Facebook post, Noel Jr. said no amount of words can explain the pain of losing his father.
“I’ve been used to seeing you everyday, having a brief chat in the evening after you arrive home, and half awake watch you have coffee and read the paper every morning at 6am.”
“I love you so much papa and we will fight for your justice no matter what. And to all our family and friends who’ve shown their support, I am forever thankful,” Noel Jr. said.
From Arlington Memorial Chapel in Araneta Avenue in Quezon City, the remains of Orate Sr. were taken to Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City. At one point, the funeral procession stopped in front of Daza’s house on Maningning Street in Teacher’s Village.
Orate’s family, their relatives and some of their friends alighted from vehicles and shook the gate of Daza’s house.
They also dropped some flowers in front of the house, before getting back into their vehicles.
Whether he was killed in self-defense or not, love proved tragic for Orate.