Amid the election season, a candidate for town councilor in Talibon was gunned down by motorcycle-riding men who rode in tandem on Friday afternoon.
Bartolome Garcia Avenido, a retired jail guard of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) who ran for a seat in the Talibon town council, died on the spot after he was shot multiple times while riding a motorcycle in Barangay San Jose, said Talibon acting police chief Lieutenant Gregorio Bubole.
“Samtang sakay ni sa iyang motorsiklo gikan sa Bible school pauli na unta sa iyang pinuyanan sa Purok 4 sa San Jose. Pag-abot sa hilit-hilit na lugar, gi sundan siya og duha kabuok na laki sakay og motorsiklo…Gi-pusil siya sa luyo, sa tangkugo ug tulo ka higayon gi-pusil sa iyang kalawasan,” said Bubole.
One of the two assailants wore a helmet while the other had his face exposed, based on witnesses’ statements.
“Diha may nakakita aning usa kay wa man g’yuy helmet. Kung makakita lang siya, makaila gyud siya matud pa sa atoang mga nahipos na taho,” said Bubole.
The Talibon Police Station immediately coordinated with the Getafe and Trinidad Police Stations to set up checkpoints in key areas to intercept the assailants, but none have been arrested for the crime so far.
Investigators meanwhile are still facing a blank wall as to the motive of the fatal gun attack.
According to Bubole, none of Avenido’s former colleagues and relatives knew of any conflicts involving the victim.
“So far, sa sige mi’g imbestigar, wala miy nadawat na taho na duna siyay kalalis. Dili pa sad nato ma validate kung politically [motivated] ba ni,” said Bubole.
Avenido retired as a Senior Jail Officer 2 before deciding to enter politics.
He was running under the Padayon Bol-anon local coalition, police said.
Investigators have not discounted the possibility that the attack was politically motivated but Bubole said that it was “unlikely.”
“Mura’g layo ra ni sa kalambigitan sa politika kay mailhan man nimo kung politically motivated kay way pagnilabugay og lapok ug pagmantsa, kay wa pa man puy kampanya,” said Bubole.
Bubole noted that Talibon has had no history of election-related violence in the past polls.
“Wala mi na-apil [Election Watchlist Areas] tungod kay sa election history sugod 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2018 election sa barangay wala pa g’yuy natali na election-related incident sa atoang lungsod,” he added. (With a report from A. Doydora)