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Barangay candidate nabbed for ex-lawmaker’s slay

Jun Elias - The Philippine Star
Barangay candidate nabbed for ex-lawmakerâs slay
Cherry Ontalan, chief of staff of Eriguel’s wife Sandra, the incumbent congressman of La Union, confirmed that charges were filed against the suspect.
Philstar.com / File Photo

AGOO, La Union — A candidate for barangay captain in this town is facing multiple murder charges in connection with the killing of former La Union congressman Eufranio Eriguel and his two bodyguards on Saturday night.

Sources identified the suspect as Felizardo Villanueva of Barangay Capas, who said he was tagged in the killing based on the messages found on a cell phone that authorities seized following the incident.

Cherry Ontalan, chief of staff of Eriguel’s wife Sandra, the incumbent congressman of La Union, confirmed that charges were filed against the suspect.

Eriguel’s family believes that politics was the motive for the killing.

“It happened close to election day. I respectfully appeal to President Duterte to help fast-track and solve the murder of my husband. This cowardly act should not be tolerated. Political violence is not the answer,” Sandra said. 

Eriguel was addressing candidates of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Barangay Capas when he was shot. His boyguards Bong Tubera and Bobby Ordinario were shot as they tried to shield him with their bodies.

The assailants fled on two sport utility vehicles.

Palace vows justice

Malacañang denounced the killing and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Political violence has no place in society,”  presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Eriguel was among the politicians President Duterte had accused of involvement in the illegal drug trade. His name was removed from the President’s narco list last year.

In 2016, Eriguel survived a bomb attack that left five people wounded.  – With Alexis Romero

EUFRANIO ERIGUEL

FELIZARDO VILLANUEVA

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