Cops probe murder of SoCot village councilor

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The police is looking at several angles in the killing of a village councilor of Polomolok town, South Cotabato province on Wednesday.   

Supt. Samuel Cadungon, chief of the Polomolok municipal police station, said Thursday that among the angles they are investigating are work-related circumstances to establish the motive behind the murder of Barangay Rubber councilor Jemuel Cariaga.

Cariaga was shot dead by suspected hired gunmen while on his way to the village proper on board a motorcycle at about 8:20 a.m.

Cadungon said investigators are looking into the victim’s activities as a village official, as well as other personal transactions.

He said Cariaga chaired the barangay council’s peace and order committee and was active in the campaign against illegal drugs and criminality in the area.

The slain village official had initiated several anti-crime programs in the village, including the establishment of barangay security outposts.

“These might have earned him the ire of local criminals and other related personalities,” the police official said.

A report from the Polomolok police station said Cariaga, along with his wife, just came from the municipal hall when he was waylaid by two motorcycle-riding suspects.

Cariaga suffered gunshot wounds on the head and body from a caliber .45 handgun and was declared dead upon arrival at a local hospital.

His wife Aurora, who fell from the motorcycle during the attack, was spared by the suspects.

In a separate radio interview, Aurora said the incident could have been triggered by her husband’s work as barangay councilor.

Aurora said the victim had received a number of death threats from unknown parties prior to the incident.

In June last year, their house at the village proper was strafed by unidentified gunmen using high-powered firearms.

Cariaga was the second councilor of Barangay Rubber to be murdered since last year.

Councilor Rod Ubpon, a former member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, was killed while his two sons were wounded in an ambush near the village on October 24. (PNA)

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