Albay village chief, Cotabato bet killed

John Unson, Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Albay village chief, Cotabato bet killed
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Violence mars COC filing

MANILA, Philippines — A barangay captain who had just filed his certificate of candidacy for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections was gunned down in Libon, Albay on Monday, while a candidate for barangay chairman was shot dead shortly after filing his COC for the BSKE in Midsayap, Cotabato yesterday.

According to police, barangay captain Alex Repato of Brgy. San Jose in Libon was having a conversation with another person when two armed men on a motorcycle shot him in front of his house at 5:28 p.m.

“There were two unidentified men who shot him, which resulted in his immediate death,” PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said over Radyo 630 dwPM.

The victim came from Barangay Poblacion where he filed his COC for another term as barangay captain.

Police investigators have identified a person of interest in the murder of Repato, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. said.

“We already have a person of interest there the police are focusing on in the case,” he told reporters in an interview on the sidelines of the 122nd Police Service Anniversary celebration at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Acorda did not disclose other details about the individual due to the ongoing probe. It is the first election-related killing in this years BSKE documented by the PNP.

Meanwhile, in Midsayap, Cotabato, a suspected gun-for-hire killed a Moro community leader about to file his COC for chairman on Tuesday morning.
Mayor Rolly Sacdalan said Haron Dimalanes, who sustained a gunshot wound in the head, was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

Dimalanes was fatally shot with a .45 caliber pistol while he was about to disembark from his vehicle that was parked near the Midsayap municipal government building where he was to file his COC for chairman of Barangay Malingao.

Midsayap municipal chief Lt. Col. Peter Pinalgan Jr. said probers are certain the daring daytime murder of Dimalanes is related to his candidacy for barangay chairman of Malingao.

He added that he directed members of the Association of Brgy. Captains to help local police identify the killers for immediate prosecution.

Despite the shooting, Fajardo maintained that the filing of COCs on Monday was relatively peaceful across the country.


Four incidents of election-related violence have been recorded at the start of the election period for the upcoming BSKE, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said they have received reports on the election-related violence in Rizal, Maguindanao and Libon, Albay.

He added that the Commission is still awaiting a full report on the two incidents.

Based on initial information reaching the Comelec, a barangay chairman and a barangay kagawad were shot dead shortly after filing their COCs yesterday.

Garcia said the Comelec would take appropriate action upon the recommendation of the PNP.

Comelec spokesman John Rex Laudiangco said a violent incident is considered election-related if it happened during the election period and that “candidacy” was determined to be the motive.

“It should be determined if election or candidacy was the cause and not a personal reason,” Laudiangco noted. “After the investigation and assessment of the PNP, our regional directors will determine if those areas will be placed as areas of concern,” he further explained.

If necessary and upon the recommendation of the PNP, Laudiangco said the Comelec will place those areas under its control during the entire election period.


Fifteen people were arrested during the first day of the nationwide implementation of the gun ban for the BSKE, the PNP reported on Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan, the PNP’s chief publicist, said 15 civilians were apprehended across the country for violating the gun ban. Policemen also confiscated 20 assorted firearms.

Among those arrested were Jomar dela Cruz, 32, and Rino Venales, 52, who were apprehended in Quezon City on Monday for possession of improvised firearms or sumpak.

Brig. Gen. Nicolas Torre III, Quezon City Police District director, said Dela Cruz was apprehended by policemen at a security checkpoint along Quirino Highway in Barangay Gulod at around 1:30 a.m. Venales, meanwhile, was apprehended in Barangay Pasong Tamo at around 3:40 a.m. for being unruly while in possession of a firearm.

The suspects are facing charges of violating Republic Act 10591, or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and the gun ban. The gun ban will end on Nov. 29.

For its part, the Southern Police District said two suspects aboard a motorcycle – identified as Felizardo Almarez, 25, and Jameson Argabio, 32 – were flagged by police for not wearing helmets in Naga Road, Pulang-lupa 2 in Las Piñas City.

The suspects fled, prompting authorities to pursue them. When finally caught, authorities found in their possession one .38-caliber revolver, a switch blade, a bolt cutter and a pair of surgical scissors.

The suspects are facing complaints for violation of Republic Act 10591 and the Omnibus Election Code.

Bracing for security measures at the start of the election period for BSKE, the Leyte Police Provincial Office on Monday conducted simultaneous checkpoints in various towns and cities of the province.

These checkpoints are aimed at “strictly enforcing election laws, especially on the enforcement of the gun ban and all anti-criminality laws,” the LPPO said.

Police escorts

The PNP on Tuesday recalled at least 679 police officers serving as security escorts of government officials and private individuals as the filing of COC for the BSKE started on Monday.

Acting on the directive of the Comelec, the Police Security and Protection Group initiated a recall of its protective security personnel stationed nationwide.

The PNP held its recall activity at Camp Crame in Quezon City, with similar activities held in police regional offices.

Acorda said the recall of police bodyguards is a proactive measure to prevent any undue influence, conflicts of interest or perceptions of impropriety during the electoral process.

Under Comelec Resolution 10918, the employment of security personnel or bodyguards by incumbent public officials, whether elected or appointed, as well as private individuals are suspended.

The police officers who were recalled to their mother unit will undergo refresher and specialization courses while awaiting redeployment after the election period.

More male aspirants

There were more men than women who are seeking elective positions in the Oct. 30 BSKE, the Comelec reported yesterday.

Of the 273,454 COCs filed before the different Offices of Election Officers nationwide, about 64.77 percent or 177,125 are males, compared to the 96,329 female aspirants.

There are 21,657 individuals aspiring to become barangay chairpersons while 143,638 want barangay council members seats.

A total of 17,085 individuals intend to run for SK chairperson while 91,074, are aspiring to serve as SK council members.

Garcia said they were overwhelmed by the large number of people who filed COCs just on the first day of the filing period.

Aspirants usually wait until the last day of the filing period before submitting their COCs.

Those intending to run in the BSKE have until Sept. 2 to file their COCs.

Laudiangco said the Commission would strictly enforce anti-political dynasty provisions for the SK elections.

“So, if you have relatives within the second civil degree of consanguinity or affinity that are elected officials, you are disqualified to run in the SK,” Laudiangco said.

Covered under the second civil degree of consanguinity are parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren and even brothers and sister-in laws.

Public attorneys are not allowed to render legal services to candidates of the forthcoming BSKE, the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) said.

In an advisory, PAO chief Persida Acosta reminded all public attorneys that the Revised PAO Operations Manual prohibits all office employees from providing legal services to any person in election-related matters.

“A PAO lawyer cannot notarize a candidate’s COC, authorization letter or Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in the filing of the COC and other documents related to the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections,” Acosta said, in response to requests from BSKE candidates to notarize the documents they would file alongside their COCs.

Under Chapter 2 of the manual, PAO lawyers may only accept service to indigents and non-indigents provided that the PAO chief determines the latter’s case as a matter of national interest and security or so urgent that it “may need immediate action to avoid injustice.” — Mayen Jaymalin, Meriam Desacada, Daphne Galvez, Neil Jayson Servallos

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