CEBU CITY, January 11, 2003 (STAR)   A third-generation member of the influential Aznar clan which owns Southwestern University, died early Thursday morning from a self-inflicted bullet wound in the head.

Police said 24-year-old Christopher "Jake" Aznar apparently put the gun to his own head but his family believes he may have shot himself by accident.

Aznar, who frequently ran afoul with the law, was first taken to the family-owned Sacred Heart Hospital but was later transferred to the Cebu Doctors Hospital where he eventually died at about 8:45 a.m., more than three hours after the incident.

Police homicide investigator SPO3 Alex Dacua said one of Aznarís three common-law wives, Winsil Badajos, 22, was at home with him at the time of the incident.

Dacua said Badajos told him that Aznar came home at about 5:30 a.m. and got into an argument with his mother, Consuelo.

Badajos said Aznar left in a huff and went directly to their pad right next to his motherís house.

She said Aznar went directly to their room where she was cradling their six-month-old baby boy and the next thing she knew, a shot rang out and Aznar was on the floor next to the babyís crib, blood oozing from his head.

Badajos said she screamed for help and Consuelo and other people inside the Aznar compound on Asuncion street came running, immediately picking up the huge but limp body and rushing it to the family-owned hospital a block from the compound.

Police found a 9 mm pistol with six bullets under the crib. An empty bullet casing was found inside the crib itself.

Dacua said that while the shooting was apparently a suicide, police are not discounting the possibility of foul play and are subjecting the hands of both Aznar and Badajos to paraffin tests to detect gunpowder residue.

Both Consuelo and Maria Crisanta Gueco, 24, another common-law wife of Aznar, insisted they do not believe he took his own life and may have merely fired the gun accidentally.

"It was not a suicide. It was an accident. I know he had a gun. Perhaps he was playing with his gun," Gueco said.

Gueco had been Aznarís common-law wife for five years. They have a five-year-old son. He later took on another common-law wife, a certain Dianne, who bore him two children, a two-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter. Then Badajos entered his life, and for a while, all three shared the same roof with Aznar.

Eventually, Dianne moved out and returned to her hometown in Leyte, bringing with her their two children. Gueco continues to stay in the house of Consuelo, while Badajos has moved to Aznarís pad.

Asked if she did not feel uncomfortable with this complicated living arrangement, Gueco said no. "In fact, we are the best of friends," Gueco said, referring to Badajos.

Consuelo admitted having argued with Aznar shortly before the incident but dismissed it as normal between a mother and her son.

She insisted that the only problems bothering her son were the allegations against him, which she described as all fabricated and false.

Aznar faced a string of cases, from alleged illegal possession of shabu and firearms to car theft and snatching.

But Gueco said of all the cases Aznar was facing, it was the kidnapping and frustrated murder charges which the National Bureau of Investigation filed against him that really bothered him.

In that case, Aznar was tagged as the principal suspect in the Aug. 11 abduction and near-killing of a certain Richard Satiembre.

"He had problems but the NBI case, I think, (was) really what (bothered) him so much," Gueco said.

Still, she said this would not have been enough to drive Aznar to commit suicide. "He was a funny, happy man," she said. Ė Freeman News Service

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