A barangay councilor who was a longtime aide and friend of Alburquerque Mayor Richie Buates was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men who rode in tandem right outside the chief executive’s house in the town on Thursday night.
East Poblacion, Alburquerque Barangay Councilor Wilfredo Plaza was sitting and using his cellphone in Buates’ front yard when the gunman armed with a .45 caliber pistol alighted from a motorcycle and shot him repeatedly at past 7 p.m., said Alburquerque Police Station desk officer Staff Sgt. Joel Echavez.
Plaza was still able to run but later fell down at the side of the mayor’s house due to his injuries.
“Ang backrider ray hing naog, unya hing sulod sa kural sa balay ni mayor unya gipusil si konsehal,” he added.
Plaza was rushed to the Ace Medical Center in Tagbilaran City for emergency medical aid but he succumbed to his injuries at past 9 p.m. on the same day.
He was hit five times in the stomach, chest, both arms and right leg with five entry wounds and one exit wound in the back.
According to Echavez, the shooting incident was carried out with Buates and his family inside their house. The family had just arrived home when the shooting started.
“Mo aksyon unta kuno siya [Buates] og gawas pero gi-safety niya iyang mga bata una. Paggawas niya wa na man ag gunman ,” he said.
Plaza ran for a seat in the town’s Sangguniang Bayan under Buates’ ticket in the 2019 midterm elections but lost.
He was Buates’ longtime aide and was living in the mayor’s house.
“Close na kaayo sila ni mayor, higala pero mura na pud og pamilya kay naa na man sa ilaha,” Echavez said.
Buates who as of the moment has not answered calls expressed ire over the incident through Facebook.
“Mga Y*WA MO! KLARO NAMO KAAYO! Gipapusil gyud ninyo mismo sa among Balay akong taong suod! Dili mo kabakod HANGTOD BISAG AKO PAY MAPATAY NINYO!” the mayor said.
Meanwhile, police are continuing their investigation on the case.
Echavez said that they have already spoken with Buates regarding possible motives behind the brazen gun attack but did not divulge further information so as not to jeopardize the ongoing probe.
Police have pieces of footage from closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) mounted near the mayor’s house showing that the assailants were clad in full-face helmets and jackets.
The gunman and the motorcycle driver wore off white and black jackets, respectively.
This was also confirmed by supporters and neighbors of the mayor who were gathered outside the house during the incident.
The group dispersed however when the shooting started.
According to Echavez, the same motorcycle was seen last year circling the mayor’s residence in broad daylight with a passenger of the vehicle later firing his gun indiscriminately near the house.
“Mao ra tong motora nagtuyok-tuyok sa ilang balay, nagpabuto. Karon namusil na g’yud,” he said.
Police have been deployed to secure the mayor’s house which has a fence but has no gate and no CCTV cameras.