TABANGO, LEYTE – A known supporter of Mayor Bernard Jonathan Remandaban of this town was killed, a volunteer of another mayoral candidate was wounded, while 16 supporters were apprehended by authorities in a pursuit operation early Sunday morning, May 8, a day before the national elections.
Capt. Khervin Jay Latoza of the 802nd Infantry Brigade, said the victim, identified as Dave Damayo, 43, a supporter of Mayor Remandaban, was resting inside a pickup truck parked along the roadside of Sitio Sonlogon, Brgy. Campokpok, when a group of armed men on board four vehicles appeared in the area.
For no apparent reason, the armed men, using different firearms, opened fire on the parked vehicle where the victim was resting. The victim died on the spot.
The witnesses said the assailants fled to the direction of Sitio Burabod-Omega, Brgy. Inangatan of the same town.
In the ensuing hot pursuit conducted by the 802nd Infantry Brigade and troops from the 93rd Infantry Battalion, the authorities traced the alleged perpetrators who were headed to the campaign headquarters of mayoralty candidate Romel Aropo in Brgy. Poblacion.
As the police personnel alighted from their vehicles, they were greeted by gun fires from armed men who scampered in different positions.
The troops retaliated, firing at the suspects for about three minutes. The brief exchange of fires resulted in the wounding of Jaime Baltar, a volunteer of Aropo.
Capt. Latoza said they were also able to capture two escaping individuals and apprehended 14 others who were hiding in the vicinity.
The captured and apprehended individuals were brought to Tabango Police Station for proper disposition.