2 killed in election day shooting in Negros Occidental

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Two persons were killed in a shooting incident in Toboso, Negros Occidental, shortly before the voting in the barangay elections opened Monday, October 28.

Leony Belleza and Brian Bacordo died after they were shot allegedly by a candidate for barangay captain and his companions at around 7 am in Sitio Kinalumasan, Barangay Poblacion in Toboso, police said.

Belleza died on the spot due to gunshots in different parts of his body, while Bacordo was declared dead on arrival at the Escalante District Hospital. Both were residents of Don Salvador Benedicto town.

Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, identified the suspects as Gary Enriquez, a barangay kagawad of Poblacion, Toboso, who is running for barangay captain; Regie Palabrica, alias Toto Kaskas; Toto Maton; and Tata Walter, based on testimonies of a witness.

Empty shells from a 9mm pistol were recovered at the crime scene, about a kilometer away from the Toboso Police Station.

Lirazan said Bacordo and Belleze were riding a motorcycle in tandem, when they were fired upon by the suspects. They suspects were able to escape the combined team of Army soldiers and policemen who responded to the shooting incident.

The victims were reported to have been accosted by Enriquez's group prior to the shooting incident.

While leaving the area, they were chased and reportedly fired upon by the suspects.

Bacordo is the grandchild of former rebel leader Vicente "Oti" Bacordo, who is now locked up in jail for murder and illegal possession of firearms. – Rappler.com