The alleged gunman in the fatal shooting of Buenavista Mayor Roland “Sampol” Tirol who has also been tagged as the suspect in the botched gun attack against the local chief executive in 2014 may have just completed the “unfinished job,” said a Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) official.
“Yung una, noong 2014, malakas ang politics noon meron kasing intense political rivalry then. Since ito yung same suspect noon, baka unfinished job niya ‘eto,” said BPPO director Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga in an interview with the Chronicle.
Authorities believed that Elmer “Eti” Melencion, the suspected gunman, fled the province after the failed assassination attempt against Tirol inside a cockpit arena in Clarin town in 2014. The mayor was unscathed during the gun attack.
According to Geñorga, Melencion was positively identified by Tirol’s bodyguard as the gunman who shot and hit the mayor’s head thrice inside a cockpit arena in Barangay Asinan, Buenavista on Sunday afternoon.
“Dati naman nakalaban na nung bodyguard sa suntukan siya [Melencion],” said Geñorga.
A murder case against Melencion was filed Monday before the Bohol prosecutor’s office.
Emigdio Aparece Jr., one of the province’s most wanted persons and an alleged gun-for-hire, was also charged along with Melencion and a “John Doe.”
The Buenavista police earlier said that Aparece served as backup to Melencion during the fatal shooting based on a witness’ testimony.
“May mga witness kasi. Yung iba di nila ma categorically say na si Aparece. Pero may isang nag-execute ng affidavit na si Aparece yun, kilala niya,” said Geñorga.
For his part, PO3 Nicolas Aparilla of the Buenavista Police Station said that Aparece shot at Tirol’s bodyguard as the latter blasted a single shot at Melencion. Both suspects then fled amid the chaos that erupted after the gunshots.
Aparece, a native of Putingbato, Buenavista, has been linked to the murders of SPO1 Alejandro Estorgio, barangay councilor Ursolo Petalcorin and barangay captain Antonio Neones Sr. in 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. All of the killings were carried out in Buenavista.
Both barangay officials reportedly were political allies and friends of Tirol. (A. Doydora)