Another supporter of Tubigon mayoralty bet, former Mayor William Jao was slain in cold blood while asleep in his house past 2 o’clock dawn yesterday in barangay Macaas, Tubigon town.
Police identified the victim as oneÂ Amado Nitollama Jr., a 51-year-old former barangay kagawad of Macaas, Tubigon.
The incident came even as the Tubigon Sangguniang Bayan formalized their request to the Commission on Election (COMELEC) to declare their town under “Comelec Watch List.”
PNP Prov’l Director Dennis Agustin said the real motive of the killing has to be established first even as he has named a new Tubigon PNP chief to assume office tomorrow. He is Major Laoron from Cebu City. He will replace Tubigon OIC Fernando Peroramas.
Nitollama arrived home at around 1 a.m. yesterday after attending a political caucus of LP municipal slate in barangay Pinayagan Sur where he was the emcee, according to the victimâ€™s wife, Alicia.
At around 2:30 a.m. a gunshot woke her up and the smell of gunpowder filled the room where she was sleeping beside the victim.
She quickly rose from bed and saw blood flowing from her husbandâ€™s head.
The victim sustained a gunshot wound in the left side of his head that caused his instantaneous death.
Based on ocular inspection conducted by the police investigator, the gunman probably shot the victim from the window.
According to Jao, he learned that the group of incumbent Mayor Marlon Amila, his opponent, also had a caucus that night in Barangay Tinangnan.
At past midnight, the LP slate wrapped up their caucus in Pinayagan Sur and Nitollama, on his way home, had to pass through Barangays Tinangnan and Cabulijan before reaching Macaas where he lived.
The LP mayoralty bet toldÂ The ChronicleÂ yesterday that about two weeks ago. the victim confided to him that he was receiving death threats. He downplayed so for Nitollama not to fear and get bothered about the threats.
“I could not imagine that the innocent supporter of mine who acts as emcee during political caucuses could be the target of an assassin’s bullet,” Jao said.
He strongly denounced the killing while he asked for PNP Prov’l Director Dennis Agustin to speed up the probe as he noticed the presence of some armed men reportedly coming from Pilar town.
Reacting to the request of Jao, the PNP director designated a new chief of police of Tubigon town. A certain Major Laoron from Cebu PNP will replace SPO4 Fernando Peroramas who is designated just as an OIC of the Tubigon PNP.
Jao described that the window in the victimâ€™s house—which edge is just about six feet from the ground—was only covered by cloth, and anyone can easily peep through it from outside.
He believed that the incident was politically-motivated since the victim had been their emcee in caucuses they conducted in the past two months in different parts of town and that he never heard that the victim had sown any grudge from other individuals on his personal side.
Jao lamented that despite the peace covenant they had just signed with other political parties last Friday afternoon, one of his supporters was gunned down about 12 hours later.
The police should conduct a thorough investigation on the incident, according to Jao.
For his part, Macaas Barangay Captain Jun Notarte attested that the victim hadÂ no enemy in their place and had been a man of good standing being a former barangay kagawas.
What he just noticed was that the victim, at times, would insert adlibs answering issues raised by the other camp whenever he would speak on stage as emcee in caucuses of LP.
Notarte also said that the victimâ€™s wife had mentioned that she noticed a suspicious man in the premises earlier that night.
Notarte said the wife told him that the family used to put their pet dog outside in a spot near their room, but that night she forgot to transfer the dog,
Crime investigators at the Tubigon police station still have to find out the motive in the murder of Nitollama and said they could not still conclude it was politically-motivated.
The recent murders of LP supporters had already alarmed the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) prompting Provincial Director Dennis Agustin to initiate a peace covenant signing among local candidates in the towns to call on political groups to shun from maintaining goons.
On February 5, the police force of Bohol thought they had already neutralized an underground â€œequalizerâ€ of political runners lurking in the second district through an operation of BPPOâ€™s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, supposedly closing another contract killerâ€™s black book.
In his own hide-out inÂ the sub-village of Hulganan in Barangay Bantuan, Buenavista, Ramel Tradio—also known as â€œEteâ€—was killed in an encounter with the SWAT team at around 10:20 a.m. on February 5, when he opened fire instead of surrendering to authorities who came to serve two warrants of arrest against him—one for robbery and another for qualified theft and murder.
Tradio had been tagged inÂ theÂ murder of Engr. Ermilando Torregosa, a known political adviser of LP mayoralty candidate in Buenavista—Roseller BaÃ±ez.
Torregosa, 73, was with three companions when he was gunned down at aroundÂ 10 p.m. on November 23 last year across Mc Donaldâ€™s near the Tubigon port area.
He was with BaÃ±ez, Jojo Mero—LP candidate for municipal councilor in Buenavista, and Buenavista Municipal Engineer Modesta Centillas who had been reassigned as a municipal market administrator.
TorregosaÂ and his companions had just arrived from Cebu City then. Their trip to Cebu City was to follow up on the case they had filed against the incumbent mayor of Buenavista before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Civil Service Commission.
Torregosa, a resident of Barangay Centro in Tubigon, assisted BaÃ±ez and company in filing their case against the incumbent mayor of Buenavista.
On this, â€œBaÃ±ez and his two companions believed that the killing of Torregosa must either be politically-motivated or triggered by personal grudges.
Tradio had also been tagged in the murder of Jacinto Galvez Jr., the bodyguard and driver of Danao Vice-Mayor Tom Gonzaga on January 18.
Based on earlier investigation, Galvez was shot to death by three men masked with bonnets in Barangay Magtangtang, Danao.
With multiple gunshot wounds, Galvez was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians at a hospital in Catigbian.
Aside from Tradio, another drug personality with a pending drug case in court—one Marlou Betasa, a resident of Barangay Sta. Fe, Danao—had also been tagged in the murder of Galvez.
Betasa was arrested in a buy-bust operation on January 22Â where he yielded 6.12 grams of shabu with estimated value ofÂ P70,800 and two cal. 45 firearms—an Armscor and a Colt model, 40 live cal. 45 ammunitions, and several drug paraphernalia.
Tradio had also been tagged in the murders ofÂ a barangay captain in Puting Bato, Buenavista; municipal councilor Dante Sebua in Bonot-bonot, Buenavista; Ete Jumao-as of sitio Hulganan, Overland, Buenavista; Renante Apa-ap of Hulganan, Overland, Buenavista; and a certain Lily of Barangay Bago, Buenavista.
Police investigators also obtained an intelligence information that Tradio was also contracted to ambush the late second district congressman and former governor Erico Aumentado, but had a hard-time implementing the mission with the tight security on the latter.
Intelligence officers also had classified information that Tradio had been involved in a series of killings in Manila area and nearby municipalities in the second district of Bohol.
He had also been tagged in the robbery of Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. (TSKI) collectors, and a sexual harassment case.
He also had standing warrants of arrest for robbery with violence and intimidation on persons, and murder.
Early morning on January 16, the Bohol SWAT team also neutralized another suspected gun-for-hire, Elly Job Cabahug—also known as â€œTatayâ€— in a shootout at a beach house along sitio Teroy in Barangay Jagoliao, Getafe.
Cabahug was tagged in at least 17 incidents of murder.
Agustin earlier confirmed that Cabahug led a band of contract killers operating in Bohol and nearby provinces, and had also been involved in the illegal drugs trade.
Based on a classified information, Cabahug had also conspired in the killing of Engr. Torregosa in Tubigon, and another victim identifiedÂ as Marlon Manatad.
He was also allegedly involved in the killing of husband and wife, Jonel and Sayong Torregosa at sitio Hulganan in Barangay Overland; and another victim, Gerson Toradio.
Cabahug was also allegedly involved in the murder of a barangay captain of Soong in Lapu-lapu, Cebu while in Clarin, Bohol.
He was also tagged in the murders of NiÃ±o Melancolico, a habal-habal driver and Junior Melancolico, another habal-habal driver in Barangay Hunan, Buenavista; Jeffrey Gakasan, an ex-army in Poblacion, Buenavista; a â€œmasyadurâ€ in cockfight derby in Nahawan, Clarin; another one in Barangay Nasingin, Getafe; a certain Ruz Buenavista in Jagoliao island; Ronie Apa-ap, a farmer leader in the line up of then Landy Torregosa from Cawag, Buenavista; Paul Apa-ap, Ronieâ€™s brother of Cawag, Buenavista; Ariel Zafra, a handler in Batasan Island, Tubigon; Tony Sanchez of Nueva Granda, Buenavista; Cyril Degamo, a pusher in Barangay Rufo Hill, Buenavista; and Michael Melancolico, another pusher in Rufo Hill, Buenavista,
Agustin also said earlier that Cabahug engaged in the illegal drugs trade while also trading guns from Cebu to Getafe and nearby towns.