By Katrina Domingo
On New Year's eve, four days before he went on a shooting rampage, Ronald Baquiran Bae was already high on drugs and showing signs of instability back in his house in Guagua, Pampanga.
This was what Maria Elena Bae, the slain gunman's wife, said hours after the incident in Kawit, Cavite, which left eight people dead - two of them children - and nine others wounded - four of them also children.
The gunman himself was fatally wounded when he tried to shoot it out with responding policeman.
Solar News interviewed Maria Elena Bae at the Samson Funeral Home, where the remains of her husband were taken.
She added that Ronald even beat her on New Year'eve and threatened to shoot her and one of their children before he left and headed back to Kawit.
On the other hand, the slain gunman's mother, Tomasa Bae, told Solar News that when she saw her son on December 9, 2012, she didn't notice anything unusual about his behavior.
She apologized to the families of the the victims and pleaded for understanding.
As this developed, John Paul Lopez, who claimed to have been forced by Ronald Bae to act as his reloader, decided to surrender himself at the prodding of an aunt, who called the Imus Police Station. At around 8 p.m., policemen from the station came to take Lopez into custody.
Shortly before 11 p.m., they finally started the presentation, led by Chief Supt. James Andres B. Melad, chief of PNP Region 4, and Senior Superintendent Alexander Rafael, chief of the Cavite Provincial Police.
Lopez said Bae threatened to kill him if he would not do as he said.
At the presentation, the police officials presented physical evidence related to the shooting - a .45 caliber pistol with an extra clip fully loaded, a cellphone, a small plastic bag full of ammunition, and an expired license for an M- 16 rifle made by Elisco.
Bae also had an AK-47 assault rifle, police said.
Investigators will find out how Bae was able to obtain licenses for these firearms.
Also presented were bits of tinfoil and two lighters, which Bea apparently used for sniffing shabu.
Lopez admitted drinking with Bae the night before the shootings. But he denied taking illegal drugs.
Because of the mass shooting, Chief Insp. Joel Saliba, Kawit Police chief, and Insp. Henry Salazar, his deputy, were relieved from their posts.
Neighbors recounted that Bae ran for barangay chairman in the 2010 elections, but lost.
They said Bae had been known for being generous, but he was also reputed to be a drug lord.
The motive for the mass shooting remained unclear.
But investigators said they were considering the possibility that the gunman was a drug addict or that he stressed out by personal problems.
Bae reportedly had been estranged from his wife for some time now, which was why she was staying in Guagua, Pampanga.
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Pia Hontiveros, Chief Correspondent and anchor of Solar Network News and News.Ph, presents the Solar News and Current Affairs year-ender special: On the Cusp of Change. A deafening silence, not out of a loss for words but a grief that cannot be spoken, for thousands lost to a super typhoon ... A muted pain from a powerful tremor that violently shook the heart of the nation ... An unspeakable anger over pork barrel that fueled a political maelstrom ... These and other stories from the extraordinary challenging year that was.