NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines (UPDATED) – A board member and his body guard were shot dead outside a cockpit in Barangay Guintubhan, Isabela town on Sunday, June 28.
Police identified the fatalities as Board Member, 55-year-old Renato Malabor and his 52-year-old guard, Leody Jumilla.
Senior Inspector Ramel Sarona, town police chief, said that the victims came from a cockpit and were walking to their car at the parking area at around 1:15 am when an unidentified assailant waylaid and gunned them down from behind.
The two were rushed to the Ignacio Arroyo Memorial Districy Hospital. Jumilla died while on the way to the hospital, while Malabor expired at 3 am.
Both succumbed to gunshot wounds on their backs, Sarona said.
Empty shells of .9 mm caliber pistol were recovered from the crime scene.
Police have yet to identify the suspect, who was wearing a white sando shirt, short pants, and a baseball cap. According to a progress report by police, the suspect is medium built, and is more more or less 5’5″ in height. He fled on foot after the incident.
Senior Superintendent Samuel Nacion, officer-in-charge of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said they are looking at all possible angles behind the killing. He added that they have yet to receive information if the board member has received death threats before the incident.
A task force composed of the Isabela Police, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and Regional Intelligence Unit will be formed to investigate the incident, Nacion said.
P2 million bounty
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. offered a P2 million bounty to anyone who can give information that can lead to the arrest of the unidentified suspect.
Marañon believes that the killing of Malabor, who has expressed plans of running as Isabela mayor in 2016, was “politically motivated.”
“I have directed the police and other law enforcement agencies to probe deeper into this incident. I am also enjoining the community to fully cooperate in the investigation of these killings so that those responsible for these heinous acts will be brought before the bar of justice,” the governor added.
Marañon said the incident brought a bad image to the province, which was recently declared as peaceful and ready for further development, “We are making efforts to declare this province peaceful. This political violence should not be tolerated.”
Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, on the other hand, remembers Malabor as a good man. “He is one of the great minds we had at the provincial board. In fact he is the first among the board members to call for the resumption of talks on Negros Island Region with our neighbors in Negros Oriental, through a resolution,” he said.
President Benigno Aquino III signed on May 29 Executive Order 183 which created the Negros Island Region.
“He was in a good mood last Wednesday as he interacted with me and the board members. We never thought that would be the last time we will see him attend the session,” Lacson added.
Malabor was a councilor and a 3-term mayor in Isabela before he was elected as board member in 2013.
He was the richest provincial board member from 2013 to 2014, based on his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). His net worth in 2014 was pegged at P30.45 million.
Meanwhile, Jumilla served as Malabor’s bodyguard for 15 years.
The remains of Malabor are interred at the St. Peter’s Funeral Homes in Bacolod, while the remains of Jomilla have been laid at the Nalagon Funeral Homes in Isabela town, Negross Occidental. – Rappler.com