CUYAPO, Nueva Ecija – Police are looking into the possibility that politics may have triggered the cold-blooded shooting of the newly appointed secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) in this town.
Senior Superintendent Napoleon Taas, provincial police director, said they are exploring several angles in the killing of Angelito Espinosa, including the possible involvement of Mayor Amado Corpuz Jr.
“We are looking at politics,” Taas said, admitting that Carlito Samonte, the gunman is a personal bodyguard and driver of Corpuz.
Earlier, Priscila Espinosa, the 39-year-old widow of Espinosa, said Corpuz may have been involved because the killing of her husband was committed after they pursued graft charges against the mayor.
Espinosa, 40 was gunned down by Samonte a few meters away from the police station and the municipal hall Wednesday. The shooting was made in full view of several bystanders.
The victim managed to run to the police station but died later from two gunshot wounds.
Samonte tried to escape but was captured by the local police following a brief chase. He was detained at a stockade in nearby Guimba town.
Priscila, medical technologist at the Rural Health Unit here, said that prior to the incident, she has filed several cases against Corpuz before the Office of the Ombudsman, including nepotism, non-payment of GSIS premiums and violations of the Magna Carta for Health Workers.
She said her husband prepared the evidence against the mayor. She hinted that Corpuz has been harassing her husband whose appointment as SB secretary last week has been openly opposed by the mayor and his allies in the SB.
Espinosa replaced Zenaida Boniel who died of an ailment.
Taas said they are still trying to establish whether Corpuz has something to do with the killing.
The STAR tried several times to get Corpuz for his comment but he could not be reached. Municipal employees said they have no direct contact to the mayor.
Taas said even the police had lost contact of Corpuz who reportedly made himself scarce since the incident. “Maybe he is not yet prepared to speak on the issue,” he said.
The Nueva Ecija police have provided police security to the family of the victim.
Vice Mayor John Diego who appointed Espinosa said that prior to the shooting, the victim told him that Samonte was mad at him.