2 suspects in Mayor Bote slay nabbed in Camarines Sur

Rambo Talabong
2 suspects in Mayor Bote slay nabbed in Camarines Sur
(4th UPDATE) Police arrest Florencio Suarez and Robert Gumacay at a routine checkpoint along Andaya Highway in Del Gallego, Camarines Sur

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Two suspects in the killing of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote have been captured by cops on Wednesday, July 11, just a day after the mayor was buried.

The suspects, identified as Florencio Suarez, 48, and Robert Gumacay, 35, were arrested in Barangay Cabasag, Del Gallego, Camarines Sur, at around 9:30 am. 

With Suarez as the driver, both were aboard a beige Toyota Avanza with the plate number PGQ 134 along Andaya Highway. The car matched what appeared as the getaway car which the suspects boarded after executing Bote.

Recovered from them was a caliber .45 pistol allegedly seen in plain view as cops stopped them for a checkpoint inspection.

Bicol Region police director Chief Superintendent Arnel Escobal earlier said Gumacay was only a “passenger” in the vehicle, but he was later corrected by PNP chief Oscar Albayalde in a chance interview with reporters on Thursday, July 12.

Bote was aboard his Toyota Fortuner when he was gunned down on Tuesday, July 3, in Cabanatuan City while leaving the compound of the National Irrigation Administration.

The development was already anticipated, as Albayalde said in a press conference on Monday, July 9, that they had gotten hold of a good lead in Bote’s case.

Police have yet to establish the motive behind Bote’s killing. He is not included in the government’s infamous drug watchlist. – with a report from Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.