An alleged drug dealer who reportedly went into hiding after police raided his house in Tagbilaran City last year was shot dead in Baclayon on Monday night.
The fatality, identified as Ariel Junio, 31, of Barangay Bool in Tagbilaran City, was found dead in a remote area in Barangay Payahan in Baclayon.
Police are initially eyeing involvement in the illegal drug trade as possible motive behind the murder as Junio was included in the Tagbilaran police’s drug watchlist.
According to Baclayon police investigator Executive Master Sgt. Jo Pogoy, residents living near the crime scene heard several gunshots and saw a car flee from the area at past 9 p.m.
They however were not able to identify the vehicle’s make, color and plate number as the area was dimly lit.
Pogoy said that the Junio sustained one gunshot wound in his head and another in his ribcage. The bullets were fired from .45 caliber pistol.
Police found a voter’s ID in Junio’s possession but they were unable to initially identify him as his face was damaged by the gunshot wound.
Junio’s father, Ernesto, later confirmed that the fatality was his son.
According to Ernesto, Ariel still went home at 8 p.m. to eat dinner an hour prior to when he was found dead a few kilometers away in Barangay Payahan.
Ernesto said that police had earlier raided their house but Ariel was not home while the operatives did not find any contraband.
He admitted that he had knowledge of Ariel’s drug use but was unaware that his son was suspected of peddling illegal drugs.
For its part, police in Tagbilaran suspected that Ariel went into hiding in nearby Dauis town following the raid. (Weli Maestrado)