BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Two barangay (village) officials here have been shot dead in two separate incidents a day apart of each other, months ahead of a scheduled barangay and youth polls December, this year.
One incident is believed to be linked to the insurgency while the other might be, among other motives, linked to politics.
As this story goes to press, police have yet to bring down the body of Benjamin Javoc to the local funeral parlor in Calatrava, a town around 80 kilometers north from here, more than 12 hours after he was reportedly shot by at least 10 armed men in the upland village of Lalong.
A police sergeant told DNX those retrieving the body would have to pass through Bagonbon, a village bordering the town with San Carlos City.
Javoc, 52, was reportedly shot around 4:30am by 10 armed men past 6am today, 26 August 2022, after his wife told their son who, in turn, reported it to the police.
South of the city, in Isabela town, an early morning attack by a lone killer led to the death of Danilo Dautil, 52, in the village of Cabcab near 6am of 24 August 2022.
Dautil had gunshot wounds on his right chest and head and was rushed to a hospital where doctors said he was dead on arrival.
One fired cartridge of caliber .45, one black small cap, and one black sunglass was recovered from the scene.
Army Brigadier General Innocencio Pasaporte who heads the brigade that covers Calatrava, said they cannot say for certain if the killing of Javoc was done by Communist rebels who were earlier reported to have been holding out in the mountain villages of the town.
Pasaporte took note of the police report that said the killers took at least P20,000 in cash from Javoc.
“It could be a petty crime,” he said.
The police in Calatrava also said the killing of Javoc could be linked to politics.
The Isabela slay, meanwhile, is seen by authorities as possibly linked to the insurgency.
Both towns are among the areas where the Communist used to hold sway in the 80s.