Emegdio Aparece, Jr., one of Bohol’s most wanted persons who has been linked to at least 10 murders in the province, was tagged as one of three suspects behind the fatal shooting of Buenavista Mayor Ronald “Sampol” Tirol inside a cockpit arena in Barangay Asinan of the town on Sunday.
According to PO3 Nicolas Aparilla of the Buenavista Police Station, murder charges were filed Monday before the Bohol prosecutor’s office against Aparece, a “John Doe” and Elmer “Eti” Abanda Melencion who also allegedly tried to kill Tirol back in 2014 at another cockpit in Clarin town.
Aparece has been previously linked to the murders of SPO1 Alejandro Estorgio, barangay captain Antonio Neones Sr., barangay councilor Ursolo Petalcorin and at least seven other victims. All of the killings were carried out in Buenavista.
Meanwhile, Melencion reportedly left Bohol after the botched gun attack of Tirol in 2014 which he allegedly perpetrated. He also has a standing arrest warrant which stemmed from a previous murder case.
Aparilla, based on witnesses’ testimonies, said that Melencion was the one who shot Tirol at point blank range inside the cockpit arena as the mayor was playing card games while Aparece served as backup and at least one other suspect was posted outside the arena as the getaway driver and lookout.
“Naay nakakita ni Elmer, naa puy laing witness ang makatumbok pud ni Emegdio, nakaila g’yud siya ni Emegdio,” said Aparilla. “Base sa imbestigasyon, ang nakapusil g’yud kang mayor si Elmer…[si Aparece] backup agtong gunman.”
Tirol sustained gunshot wounds in the head, including two beside his right eye and one near his right jaw. He was still rushed to the Francisco Dagohoy Municipal Hospital in Inabanga but later succumbed to his injuries.
According to Bohol Provincial Police Police Office Director Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga, investigators are now looking into politics, business and personal conflict as possible motives behind the attack.
“Yung tatlo dinidig-up natin. I think political ito, kasi may mga nakalaban siya sa politika noong 2013, sa 2016 meron din. At meron ding mga business engagements ang mayor at syempre meron din siyang mga personal dealings din noon,” said Geñorga.
In an earlier interview, Geñorga noted that it is possible that the suspects carried out the attack on orders of a “mastermind.”
“Although na identify yung gunman, the work is still not complete kung di makuha ang mastermind,” Geñorga added.