By Vicente Alejandro, VERA Files
Tacloban City – A village chief was killed and two others were wounded during an attack by armed men in Calbayog City just as the Philippine National Police began deploying more policemen to different parts of Eastern Visayas in preparation for the May 13 elections.
Police identified the dead as Amado Lauyon, chairman of Barangay Bagong Lipunan in Calbayog City in Samar. Wounded were Rindo Lauyon, a village councilor and son of the slain barangay official, and a bystander.
Chief Supt. Elmer R. Soria, PNP Director for Region 8, described the shooting on Tuesday as an isolated incident that “will not in any way affect the electoral proceedings in the area or create a form of political tension that could eventually upset the electoral process.”
Soria ordered a thorough investigation into the killing to determine if it was election-related and directed his men to intensify the campaign against partisan armed groups, wanted men and loose firearms around the region.
According to reports reaching the PNP regional headquarters, the elder Lauyon was waylaid by men riding in tandem in front of the Matobato elementary school along the national highway in Brgy. Matobato. The victim sustained several gunshot wounds and died on the spot.
The slain barangay chairman was allegedly a member of the Montealto private armed group operating in and around Calbayog City.
Murder and frustrated murder charges are now being prepared by the police against five suspects, one of whom, identified by witnesses as Reynaldo Dealagdon,
has a pending arrest warrant for murder.
Inspector Romuel Nacar, PNP-8 media relations officer, said the PNP in Eastern Visayas has arrested 117 individuals, mostly civilians, for violating the election gun ban, and confiscated close to 100 assorted firearms, a dozen hand and rifle grenades, some 40 bladed weapons and rounds of ammunition since the start of the election period.
The latest incident involved the arrest of three people in a Comelec checkpoint in Brgy. Balud, Sta. Margarita, Samar past midnight Tuesday. Policemen seized two caliber .45 pistols, a homemade shotgun and several rounds of ammunition from the suspects on board a silver gray Mitsubishi Pajero.