After sustaining several gunshots wounds, Arturo Sugala, husband of slain Carmen barangay councilor Rufa Sugala, bared to the town’s police chief the identity of the alleged mastermind in the Sunday gun attack against the couple.
Carmen Police Station commander Chief Insp. Rully Lauron told DYRD Balita on Monday that Arturo suspected that the alleged mastermind ordered the assassination and paid the four suspects who shot him and his wife in Barangay El Progreso of said town.
However, Lauron did not disclose the suspect’s identity so as not to compromise the ongoing investigation.
Arturo who survived the attack had earlier identified one of the bonnet-clad gunmen as one Jose Neosinia.
According to Lauron, the suspects are likely no longer in Carmen including Neosinia who is a resident of Dagohoy and has family in Sagbayan.
In Arturo’s statement to authorities, he said that he and his wife had not received any direct threat on their lives prior to the attack.
He noted they had previously suspected that their movements were being monitored by unidentified persons but this was brushed off by the couple as a slight case of paranoia.
Meanwhile, police are eyeing multiple possible motives behind Rufa’s murder as the female village councilor was active in the campaign against illegal drug and gambling activities and animal theft, said Lauron.
The police chief also noted that Rufa had earlier reported to him a purported presence of unidentified armed men in her village.
However, Lauron said that police have not yet concluded that Rufa was killed due to her active involvement in the drive against criminality, particularly as the suspect linked to the murder has no prior records with police which indicate involvement in narcotics trade and other illegal activities.
According to Lauron, the Sugalas have multiple small businesses including the sale of agricultural products from a land they own, property pawning and a lending racket for residents in their barangay.
Rufa and her husband were known as better off financially in their village due to their ventures, said Lauron.
On Sunday afternoon, the Sugalas while on board their motorcycle were flagged down by four armed men who shot both of them.
Rufa immediately succumbed to her gunshot wounds while Arturo, although hit multiple times in various parts of his body, was able to escape and ask for assistance from neighbors. (Allen Doydora)