AGBILARAN CITY – The holding of the election this year is very much hoped for to be peaceful but the question if there would be poll-related violence due to rivalry in some areas may not be ruled out, according to some candidates in separate interviews.
Most of those interviewed (officials’ names withheld) expressed fear of this scenario especially in the second district.
Another municipal mayor in told BNT said she won’t let her guard down apparently for security purposes. Asked if her opponents are capable of threats against her or her partymates, she refused to answer.
Officials of law enforcement agencies have not issued yet an official statement identifying areas that could be considered as election “hot spots” or on the watchlist.
Just the other day (Jan. 2, 2016), police said that two suspected “gun for hire” identified as Renato Petalcorin and Daniel Calape, all residents of barangay Baogo, Inabanga, Bohol, were dead as a result of encounter with police officers.
Police authorities said that the Provincial Public Safety Company, while on patrol, received an information that two suspected men riding-in-tandem were armed. This prompted them to set a dragnet but when the riding in tendem were nearing where the police were allegedly Petalcorin drew first his firearm and shot at the police and then fled but police were quick to chase them that resulted shhoting of the suspects. Both Petalcorin and Calape died, the report said.
It will be recalled that in Inabanga town, an alleged “gun-for-hire”assassins confessed after they’re nabbed and admitted they’re responsible of the string of killings, which were said to be politically-motivated.
Police report said that per Information extracted from the affidavit of suspect Jonathan Amancio Ohendras, 29, a resident of Liloan Norte of this town, revealed that “he has personal knowledge of Tomas Vistal, Eti Melencion, Albert Abanda and Renato Petalcorin perpetrated murder capers and the killings of SPO1 Heminigildo Abella, Barangay Counselor Randy Jumamoy, Duavis Father and Son and ex-Barangay Captain of Maria Rosario, Eufemio Ohina.” Reports have it that the latter (Ohina) was also the victim of murder.
Ohendras alleged that they, including two others, were also responsible for the ambush of Lucino “Boboy” Lumayag at barangay U-og, that makes the latter disabled and paralyzed due to a gun shot at his spinal column.
Another ambushed they launched was that of the couple Mr. Imiliano “Boy” Vitor and wife Flora Vitor, who was later on dead at barangay Dagnawan and the waylaid of Municipal Councilor Nolasco “Doyong” Salazar at barangay Lapacan Sur on election day but was escaped unharmed “kay nakabantay man siya.”
Ohendras companions include Gelson Cebulan Divinagracia and a certain Marjun Divinagracia Lingo, based on blotter entry no. 303. Divinagracia, 29, is a resident of Barangay Anonang and Lingo, 22, resident of Barangay Baogo, who called themselves as “Gun For Hire.”
The trio, who are now facing charges of gun ban violation under R. A. 10591 for possessing unlicensed firepowers, are allegedly to be the same group who abducted Barangay chairman of island-barangay Cuaming of this town.
Police report bared that included in their possessions are, (aside from the confiscated guns and ammunition), several high-powered weapons and equipment like two (2) M4 Bushmaster; one (1)- KG 9; thee (3)- .45 caliber pistols; one (1) Ingram; one (1)-sawed off Shotgun; and three (3)- Fragmentation grenades.
In the possession of Ohendras when nabbed include a 5.56 caliber M-4 automatic riffle, Bushmaster brand with serial number JRM062963, one (1) fully loaded long and two (2) short magazines, police said. Lingo’s possession is one (1) .45 caliber, Colt MK-IV series 80 with serial number 241639, two (2) magazines and six live ammunition of .45 caliber, a silencer and a black pistol holster; and Divinagracia’s a resident of barangay Anonang, Inabanga, Bohol are two (2) shoulder bags, color orange and black.
The three were arrested (December 3, 2013) at sitio Tangob, Barangay Lilo-an Norte by the elements of PA-SF/CAFGU detachment based at barangay Datag, Inabanga, Bohol led by PFC Warren Taeza Y Cortel of 6th SFCOY, 2ndSFBN, SF, PA. The apprehending officers were assisted by CAA Marlon C. Cabilao, CAA Isaias U. Aparicio, CAA Medrito T. Sobretodo, CAA Segundino Gudito and CAA Alfonso D. Anzano while they were conducting security foot patrol within their Area of Responsibility when they cornered the alleged killers, police report said.
Recently, in Tubigon town, one Engr. Ermelando Petalcorin Torregosa, 73, married and a resident of barangay Centro of this town was gunned down fatally by still unknown riding-in-tandem at past 10 pm, Nov. 23, 2015.
The victim sustained three gunshot wounds on different parts of his body that may have caused his death. He was with Engr. Modesta Mero Centillas, the municipal engineer of Buenavista town; Jojo Mero, a Liberal Party bet for councilor of Buenavista; and Roseller Bañez, a standard bearer for mayor also in Buenavista, Bohol. But Centillas, according to police spot report, was reassigned as market administrator. Banez believed that the killing was politically motivated and “personal grudges,” police report said.
But Buenavista Mayor Sample Tirol dismissed such insinuation in an exclusive interview recently at his office. He provided no details.
PNP provincial office led by Col Dennis Agustin earlier has bared that there are gun-for-hire groups that are responsible of past killings of officials and private individuals.
Agustin identified the Vistal group led by a certain Tomas Vistal. Vsital group is operating in the towns of Inabanga, Buenavista, and Clarin, police said.
Police said that it is liable for the murder of barangay Kagawad Randolf Jumamoy on May 16, 2013 in barangau Ilaud, Inabanga, Bohol and killimgs the past elections. Warrants of arrest of group members are still pending.
Another group is known as Suello group since it is reportedly led by a certain Darion Suello, operaitng in the towns of Buenavista, Danao, Getafe and Talibon.
Police said Suello group is responsible of the killing of SP02 Noel Romagos in Danao town. Like Vistal group, Suello and renegades have pending warrants of their arrest, police said. (rvo)