DAVAO CITY - A new twist has emerged in the killing of mixed martial arts fighter Ale Cali.
The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) is looking at the possibility that a grudge over a 'love triangle' was the reason behind the murder of the former Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) champion on Sunday morning.
DCPO director Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr. confirmed on Tuesday that the love triangle angle was “more probable” in the death of Cali, who was shot dead by a still unidentified gunman in the town of Ulas.
“We see this as an isolated case, another case of love triangle because it is more probable,” he said.
The police, however, declined to reveal the persons involved in the love triangle since the theory is still unconfirmed, although there are reports that a military official was among those involved.
Danao said the case is “more of a personal grudge” on the day the 24-year old Cali’s remains were taken to his hometown in Davao del Sur for burial.
A source said a week before Cali’s death, the victim sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation-South Eastern Mindanao Regional Office (NBI-SEMRO) because he was receiving threats.
This was confirmed by NBI-SEMRO regional director Dante Gieran in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
“Kausap niya ang agent ko, si Atty. (Arcelito) Albao, nag-request siya for investigation,” he said.
Gieran, however, said he could not disclose what the threats were all about since he did not speak to Cali personally. He said Albao could also not give information because no investigation has been launched.
Graphic pictures of Cali shortly after his death have circulated on social media.
Initial investigation conducted by Talomo Police Station showed that a witness, who was at the scene of the crime at around 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, first noticed a gray Honda Fit car parked on the shoulder of MacArthur Highway.
Minutes later, the witness said he saw Cali get out of the car and open the left back door. A gunman walked up from behind the MMA fighter and shot him three times. Cali died on the spot.
The gunman fled southward on board a waiting black Honda Wave motorcycle driven by another person.
Scene of the Crime operatives found three empty shells at the scene of the crime. Police said Cali sustained a total of four wounds in the head. Two bullets did not exit while the third caused entry and exit wounds.
Cali, a former amateur boxing standout, rose to prominence in 2012 when he won the PXC flyweight title against Jesse Taitano of Guam in a third-round technical knockout (TKO).
He defended it once in a third-round win against countryman Erwin Tagle nine months later but was dethroned by Louis Smolka in a first-round TKO in November 2013.
Cali was also defeated in March 2014 by Ernesto Montilla Jr.