Armed men shot dead a retired police officer running for a seat in the town council of Balud, Masbate, on Friday afternoon, police said.

Three armed men shot retired Chief Insp. Vicente Aragona near his home in Brgy. Tonga around 1:30 p.m., Bicol regional police spokesman Supt. Renato Bataller said.

Aragona, a candidate for councilor in the municipality, succumbed to bullet wounds on the different parts of the body, Bataller said.

Local police are still trying to determine the assailants’ identities and motive, he said.

The incident occurred barely a week after an incumbent barangay chairman of Aroroy running for town councilor was also shot dead.

Edwin Amaro, chairman of Brgy. Luy-a, was aspiring for a post in the Sangguniang Bayan when he was gunned down on Dec. 9, Bataller said.

Last month, the Department of Interior and Local Government placed Masbate and 14 other provinces under a watchlist for possible surge in violence during the run-up to next year’s elections. (John Roson)

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