Asturias VM an assassination target?
Ria Mae Y. Booc, Bryner L. Diaz (The Freeman) - February 1, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The two alleged guns-for-hire figured in a shooting incident with the elements of the Provincial Intelligence Branch were reportedly sent to kill a government official in Asturias town Thursday morning.

Supt. Rodolfo  Albotra, PIB chief, said that suspects, Edgar Escalante, of Danao City and Jonathan Rubi, of Davao del Norte, had an assassination plot when they intercepted them in the towns of Balamban and Asturias.

Albotra said they first arrested Rubi in Barangay Nangka, Balamban by virtue of an arrest warrant for murder case signed by Regional Trial Court Branch 25 Judge Sylvia Paderanga in Cebu City.

Upon investigation, PIB learned that Rubi had a cohort waiting for him in Barangay Bitoon, Asturias as they were out to kill someone.

“Sa among interrogation with Rubi along the way dunay nagpaabot niya sa Asturias nga dunay getaway vehicle nag-standby sa dalan,” Albotra said.

Follow up operation was made as PIB team were on their way to arrest Escalante who was waiting for Rubi at that time.

“They were about to execute the assassination when sighted by the PIB,” he said adding that as PIB team disembarked from their vehicle in Asturias, the shootout happened.

Escalante succumbed to a gunshot wound in the abdomen while Rubi, believed to be the main gunman, was injured in the right leg.

Both were rushed to the Balamban Provincial Hospital but Escalante was declared dead on arrival. Rubi was later referred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City.

Recovered from them was a 9mm KG9 pistol with 23 bullets, .45 KG pistol with 18 bullets, two magazines with 29 bullets, two .45 pistol with seven bullets and five bullets each caliber and two pieces cellular phones.

Albotra said they now have the name and the location of  the person who hired the suspects and he is now the subject of  their follow up investigation.

Cebu Provincial Police Office Director, Sr. Supt. Noel Gillamac, said that Rubi is suspect in the killing in Tagum City, Davao del Norte resulting to his transfer in Danao City.

Gillamac said they are going to conduct profiling of the suspects to possibly solve several shooting incidents in Northern Cebu, Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City.

Politics

Police are eyeing politics as motive of the supposed assassination which could have been related with the past barangay election.

Gillamac narrated that after the election, the government official asked help from the police after he received threats. He was, however, given security personnel to prevent the threat.

“Continue gihapon ang threat sa iyaha pero napugngan lang tungod sa security personnel,” he said.

Asturias was not among the election hot spot areas but the police considered it to have intense political rivalry.

Asturias Vice Mayor Joel Dumdum claimed to be the target of the assassination plot.

“Ako gyuy target, nya nalipay ko at least duna nay 90% nga kasulbaran, hinaot nga motug-an sila nga kinsa’y nagpaluyo ani,” Dumdum said.

“Pasalamat kaayo ko kay at least one week nasulbad ang tanan,” he said.— /GMR (FREEMAN)

ALBOTRA ASTURIAS ASTURIAS VICE MAYOR JOEL DUMDUM BALAMBAN AND ASTURIAS BALAMBAN PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL BARANGAY BITOON BARANGAY NANGKA CEBU CITY ESCALANTE RUBI
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