Guihulngan City’s brgy chairman gunned down
Raffy T. Cabristante (The Freeman) - August 12, 2018 - 12:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — A barangay chairman was killed Friday afternoon when he was ambushed by yet unidentified assassins at Barangay Magsaysay in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.

Superintendent Mario Baquiran Jr., Guihulngan City Police chief, identified the victim as 42-year-old Virgilio Agir Masicampo Jr., the incumbent chairman of Barangay Nagsaha of that city.

Initial police investigation showed that Masicampo was driving his motorcycle that day on his way to Barangay Magsaysay when three men waylaid him and shot him multiple times. He was killed on the spot.

Masicampo sustained at least 10 gunshot wounds, two of them in the head. At least 13 empty cartridges from a 9-mm pistol were recovered from the crime scene, Baquiran said.

The Guihulngan Police noted that Masicampo was killed in the same barangay where New People’s Army (NPA) rebels ambushed six policemen, including their former chief of police Superintendent Arnel Arpon, on July 21, last year.

As of this writing, police are still facing a blank wall on the Masicampo killing because there were no eyewitnesses to the crime. Asked how they determined the number of perpetrators, Baquiran said that there were some residents of Magsaysay who reportedly saw three men running away from the crime scene.

The police chief added they could not yet pinpoint or identify persons of interest in the crime, adding that Masicampo did not receive threats on his life in the past.

Baquiran said they are also unable to determine yet if the killers were NPA rebels or the killing was politically motivated. “Tapos na kasi ang eleksyon at hindi wala naman kasing masyadong nagbangayan ang mga opisyal doon,” he added.

Police are now conducting a manhunt on the perpetrators with the help of the Philippine Army’s 94th Infantry Battalion.

Masicampo is the third Guihulngan City official killed since April 2 this year when yet unidentified motorcycle-riding attackers shot and killed City Councilor Paulo Edison dela Rita Sr. while he was on his way home from a fundraising event.

Two months later, communist rebels sprayed the house of Barangay Humay-Humay chairman Mike Jakosalem’s with gunfire. Jakosalem was critically hurt and later died of his injuries after two weeks of being in a coma at the hospital.

Despite the recent series of killings in Guihulngan, Baquiran assured that the police are still in control of the situation, and that there is “still peace and order” in the city.

“Nagko-collaborate na po kami with the Army and other community organizations para mas mapadali ang imbestigasyon. We are also intensifying our checkpoints,” he told The FREEMAN in a phone interview.

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