Tag Archive: Masbate

Two barangay chairpersons and an escort were killed while two other persons were injured in separate ambuscades in North Cotabato and Masbate on Thursday, police said.

Senior Inspector Sindato Karim, police chief of Pikit, North Cotabato, identified the fatalities in the second incident as Dhats Simon, chairman of Brgy. Bulol, and his aide Akmad Bantas.

Simon and Bantas were riding a motorcycle along the provincial road in Brgy. Gli-gli around 3 p.m., when two men on two incoming motorcycles opened fire at them, Karim said in a text message.

Both gunmen are believed to have used M16 rifles as 25 empty shells for that firearm were found at the crime scene, Karim said.

Simon and Bantas were taken to the Cruzado Medical Clinic and Hospital because of bullet wounds to the different parts of the body, but were declared dead by doctors, he said.

Investigators are still trying to determine the identities of the assailants, who quickly fled after the attack.

The shooting is believed to have stemmed from “personal grudge,” Karim said.

Hours earlier, around 9:40 a.m., a barangay chairwoman was killed and her husband was injured in another ambush in Placer, Masbate.

Killed was Rodilyn Camay, incumbent chairwoman of Brgy. Matagangtang, Placer, Masbate provincial police spokesman Superintendent Eugenio Manondo said.

Camay’s husband Romil, a former chairman of their barangay, was hurt in the attack along with one Giovani Liquigan, helper of a beer delivery truck that the couple passed by.

Rodilyn and Romil were travelling along a road in Brgy. Aguada on a motorcycle, when unidentified men “waylaid” and shot them with caliber-.45 pistols, Manondo said in an emailed report.

Liquigan, who was unloading beer from a truck parked beside the road, was hit by a stray bullet, he said.

Rodilyn and Romil were brought to the Cataingan District Hospital but doctors declared the former dead.

Romil and Liquigan were later transferred to the Masbate Doctors Hospital in Masbate City for further treatment.

Senior Superintendent Prexy Tanggawohn, officer-in-charge of the Masbate provincial police, ordered local lawmen to look into all possible motives for the attack to help speed up the identification of the assailants. (John Roson)

– end –

A policeman died while another was injured as suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members fired upon lawmen escorting a tree planting activity in Claveria, Masbate, early Friday, police said.

PO1 Randolph Alegre, of the 5th Regional Public Safety Battalion, died on the spot, Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, Bicol regional police information officer, said.

PO1 McDonald Casi, of the Claveria Police, was injured and brought to a local hospital.

The incident occurred around 7:30 a.m., while members of the 5th RPSB and Claveria Police were escorting participants of a tree planting activity in Sitio Madanlog, Brgy. Buyo.

The local government of Claveria launched the activity in celebration of the civil service month, Calubaquib said.

The policemen were approaching an area when about seven fully-armed men fired upon them, she said. (John Roson)

– end –

Authorities on Saturday dived into the part of the sea off Claveria, Masbate, where the M/V Our Lady of Mt. Carmel sank, as the number of persons left missing by the incident rose to seven.

Navy divers started plunging into the sea around 7 a.m. “to check if there are trapped passengers,” Ensign Ere Mon John Duruin, Naval Forces Southern Luzon assistant public affairs officer, said in a text message.

Duruin made the remark as the Office of Civil Defense-5 reported that seven persons on board the M/V Our Lady of Mt. Carmel are still missing.

The OCD-5 identified six of the seven as Abegail Barredo, 19; Noan Manocan, 25; Leticia Andaya, 78; Fe Rapsing, Jonas Comidor, and Arian Comidor.

The seventh was later identified as a certain Jocelyn Danao, Duruin said.

Three of the seven are listed on the ship’s manifest while the four others are “claimed” to be missing, the OCD-5 said in a report issued Saturday noon.

Speculation that some passengers remain trapped arose after it was discovered that some persons on the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel were not on the ship’s manifest.

On Friday, authorities reported that the ship’s manifest only lists 35 passengers, 22 crew members, two buses, and a six-wheeled cargo truck.

As of Saturday, a total of 61 persons comprised of 38 passengers and 23 crew members have been rescued, while the number of deaths remain at two, the OCD-5 said.

Three of the survivors, identified as Jewel Ballesteros, 5; Kyle Benguet, 7; and Gilbert Bungon, 25, are still being treated at the Masbate Provincial Hospital and Masbate MMG Hospital, according to the agency.

Meanwhile, the OCD-5 said members of the Coast Guard have been deployed from Aroroy to check if the M/V Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s sinking caused an oil spill. (John Roson)

– end –

Councilor shot dead in Masbate

An incumbent councilor was killed while another man was injured after they were shot by unidentified gunmen in Balud, Masbate, on Sunday, police said.

Senior Supt. Heriberto Olitoquit, Masbate provincial police director, identified the fatality as Councilor Ladislao Macuha, 66, resident of Brgy. Guinbanwahan.

One Florido Villalobos was hit by a stray bullet and was taken to the Balud Municipal Hospital before he was transferred to a medical facility in Masbate City, Olitoquit said.

The shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m. in Sitio Tambobo, Brgy. San Andres.

“There is a strong possibility that this might be a politically-motivated incident, but the PNP is not discounting other motives,” said Insp. Alex Moral, Masbate PNP police-community relations officer.

A check on the Commission on Elections’ website revealed that Macuha was not running for any post this year, despite getting the highest number of votes among those who were elected as councilor in 2010.

But incumbent Brgy. Guinbanwahan chairman Geilord Macuha, a relative of Ladislao’s, is running as councilor this year under the United Nationalist Alliance.

Sunday’s incident came just a day after another councilor, who was running as vice mayor, was shot dead in Mobo on Saturday.

Isagani Lupango, who occupied a seat in the Mobo town council as president of the local association of barangay captains, was said to be the “most influential” candidate for vice mayor in their town. (John Roson)

– end –

The US Navy 'target drone' found off Masbate (photo from Masbate PNP)

The US Navy ‘target drone’ found off Masbate (photo from Masbate PNP)

A “target drone” of the U.S. Navy was found in waters off Ticao Island in Masbate on Sunday, police said.

Fishermen Jolly Llacer and Ricky Cantoria found the drone near Sitio Tacdugan of San Jacinto town and reported it to police past 9 a.m., Senior Supt. Heriberto Olitoquit, Masbate Provincial Police director, said.

Unang inakala ng mga mangingisda, bomba, pero vinerify ng EOD, di naman bomba… US property na drone,” Olitoquit said in a phone interview.

A local measuring the drone (photo from Masbate PNP)

A local measuring the drone (photo from Masbate PNP)

The US-made unmanned aerial vehicle, which had the markings BQM-74E Chukar III, is 12’11” or 3.94 meters long, has a wingspan of about 1.76 meters, Olitoquit said in text message.

The drone was first brought to the San Jacinto Police Station before it was turned over to the Philippine Navy.

The BQM-74E Chukar III is the latest of a series of aerial target drones produced by American aerospace and defense technology company Northrop Grumman.

The remote-controlled drone, launched from warships, can fly as fast as Mach 0.86 and altitudes from 10,000 meters to 12,000 meters.

It was not immediately known where the drone found off Masbate came from, but several US ships that have made port calls in nearby areas are known to use such UAVs for targets. (John Roson)

– end –

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)

– end –

Armed men shot dead a barangay chairman running as councilor under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in Aroroy, Masbate, Sunday night, police said.

Edwin Dalinog Amaro, chairman of Brgy. Luy-a, was shot to death by still unidentified assailants in the same village around 6:30 p.m., Bicol regional police spokesman Supt. Renato Bataller said.

Amaro was aspiring for a post in the Sangguniang Bayan under the banner of the NPC, Bataller said in a text message.

Investigators were sent to the scene shortly after the incident while members of the Aroroy Police conducted pursuit operations against the assailants, he said. (John Roson)

– end –

A woman and her 15-year-old son were hacked to death by an inmate inside the Masbate Provincial Jail compound in Milagros town Sunday afternoon, police said Monday.

Tessie Basical, 50, and her son Jayson Lucado died after being hacked by inmate Rey Esparraguera, 33, around 3 p.m., Supt. Renato Bataller, Bicol regional police spokesman, said.

Esparraguera also hacked fellow inmate Rommel Buhia, who suffered serious injuries and was taken to the Dr. De Castro Hospital, Bataller said.

Members of the Milagros Police rushed to the scene in Brgy. Matiporon and recovered the 22-inch bolo used by the suspect, he said.

Esparraguera is now under the custody of the Masbate Provincial Jail. Investigators have yet to determine what prompted to him to attack, Bataller said. (John Roson)

– end –

Police have launched manhunt operations for a barangay kagawad of Cebu City who has been identified as the one who shot dead a barangay chairman and his driver in Cawayan, Masbate, on Monday.

Chief Insp. Edgar Delfin, Masbate Provincial Police spokesman, said suspect Dario Pepito has been identified as a resident and incumbent kagawad of Brgy. Labangon, Cebu City.

Delfin also retracted his earlier statement that “personal grudge” was being eyed as the possible motive for the killing of Brgy. Mahayahay chairman Romeo Toñacao and his driver Edison Tarucan.

Citing updated investigation reports, Delfin said Toñacao and Tarucan were drinking with Pepito at a videoke joint in Brgy. Divisoria around 12 a.m., when they were shot by the latter.

“A heated altercation due to drunkenness ensued while the victims and the suspect were having a drinking session,” the provincial police spokesman said.

Murder charges are now being prepared against Pepito, Delfin said. (John Roson)

– end –

A security guard was found dead after being shot by still unidentified assailants inside the compound of a mining company in Aroroy, Masbate, on Sunday, police said.

Chief Insp. Edgar Delfin, Masbate Provincial Police spokesman, identified the victim as Rolando Riva, a guard at the Filminera Resources Corp. compound in Brgy. Puro.

Riva a resident of Baleno and employed by the NC Lanting security agency, suffered bullet wounds to the different parts of the body, Delfin said.

Investigation showed that Riva was on duty when he was shot to death.

Local police found at the scene three spent shells of a caliber-.9mm pistol and cigarette butts believed to be that of the assailants.

The pieces of evidence have been brought to the Masbate Provincial Crime Laboratory for ballistics examination and other tests, Delfin said.

Filminera, backed by Australian Central Gold Asia Mining Ltd., operates a large-scale gold mine dubbed as the Masbate gold project in Brgy. Puro.

Anti-mining groups, as well as left-leaning organizations, have opposed the project for being “unsafe” to the environment.

The rebel New People’s Army (NPA) has claimed responsibility for several attacks on Filminera.

Among the attacks said to be carried out by the NPA was the bombing that left a crater at the company’s compound on June 30. (John Roson)

– end –