Barangay councilor, 5 others survive ambush in Batuan

Cabacnitan Barangay Councilor Dario Batoon told police that he suspects that wanted murder suspects (L-R) Gregorio Budiongan, Arthur Maglupay and Leoh Hingpit were behind the daylight ambush against him and five of his workers at a forest area in Batuan on Wednesday afternoon.

Six men including a barangay councilor survived an ambush by still unidentified gunmen at a remote area in Batuan on Wednesday afternoon.

Cabacnitan Barangay Councilor Dario Batoon and five of his companions were unscathed when they were fired upon at a forest area in Batuan at around 4 p.m., said PO3 Daryl Yecyec of the Batuan Police Station.

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Batoon and his workers, identified as Kenneth Palma, Rolly Ramirez, Arnuflo Bacog, “Jerry” and Roel Anub told authorities that they saw four men who shot at them.

They however were not able to recognize the faces of the shooters.

Yecyec, based on their probe, said that Batoon and his men gathered copra and were about to head back to their homes when the gunmen shot at them.

Batoon’s group was able to hide and get to safety while the suspects immediately fled the area after firing several shots.

According to Yecyec, they found two spent shotgun shells and a spent bullet from a still unknown firearm at the scene.

Authorities have yet to identify the gunmen but Batoon told investigators that he suspects that wanted personalities in Batuan, Gregorio Budiongan, Leoh Hingpit and Arthur Maglupay may have been behind the attack.

The three men were tagged by authorities as suspects in the killing of Batoon’s brother, Primo, in 2017.

Yecyec said that Budiongan, Hingpit and Maglupay were already wanted for another murder case before Primo’s killing.

Primo may have drawn the ire of Budiongan and his group when he told authorities of the suspects’ whereabouts after an arrest warrant was issued against them, Yecyec added.

Police however continued to conduct a deep probe on the case to pinpoint the suspects and motive behind the alleged ambush of Batoon and his men. (Allen Doydora)



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