Julius D. Mariveles and Banjo C. Hinolan
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Police are now probing the killing of a controversial former basketball star and village chief who was shot dead in an urban village here.
Local police chief, Col. Henry Binas, said probers of Station 4 are now interviewing witnesses and following up leads on the death of Manuel “Maui” Huelar Jr. who witnesses said was reportedly shot dead by two armed men riding on a motorcycle.
Corporal Mario Gulmatico told DNX he and a patrol team of the station went around 5pm to Margarita Street where a shooting incident was reported.
The area is near the police station and the village hall.
Witnesses, among them village council member Lalaine Agsam told reporters she heard two shots ring out before the police arrived.
It was only later that she knew that Huelar had been shot.
Joan Gonzaga, who identified himself as the cousin of Maui’s partner, said the victim was working out but went outside to answer a call on his mobile phone.
As he turned his back to the street, the killer approached him from behind and fired two shots.
Photos show Huelar slumped just outside the gym entrance.
Huelar was a popular basketball star in his younger years as one of the key players of the Negros Slashers team of the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association.
He became village chief of Barangay 35 and became controversial in late 2016 after police nabbed him and two other suspects in a buy-bust operation.
Almost a year later, Huelar became controversial again after he signed an affidavit implicating then Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and then Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson in illegal drug operations.