TWO village chairmen died in separate ambush incidents in the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Isabela on Friday night in what police said were drug-related killings.
Montano Zipagan of Barangay Cañogan Abajo Sur in Isabela was killed along with his daughter, niece and granddaughter, after unidentified assailants flagged down their vehicle and sprayed them with bullets in Santo Tomas town.
Santo Tomas police identified the other fatalities as Zipagan’s daughter Joylyn Mabbayad, 23; niece Jelane Zipagan, 8; and granddaughter Aira Shane Zipagan, 12.
Wounded were Zipagan’s wife Benita and one-year-old granddaughter, Terris Joy Mabbayad.
Initial investigation revealed that the victim and his family were traveling along a rough road on an isolated vast cornfield in Cañogan Abajo Sur when the assassins attacked.
Police said the suspects also fired an M-202 grenade rifle at the victim’s vehicle before fleeing.
Zipagan, also chairman of the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council, earlier submitted to the police the names of persons in his village allegedly involved in drugs.
Drug-related killings and violence have persisted in Isabela’s major towns, and the police have yet to identify the suspects.
In San Mariano town, a 17-year-old boy was found dead on Thursday with a bullet wound in the head and a note, “Wag tularan: addict at magnanakaw.”
In Santiago City, a Filipino wife of a Jordanian was arrested with shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) and drug paraphernalia in San Andres village.
City Police Chief Insp. Melanio Vinoray meanwhile was stabbed in the head by an arrested drug suspect in Villasis village.
In a related incident, Sisenado Torralba, chairman of Barangay 3 in Badoc town, Ilocos Norte was fatally shot in the head by unidentified gunman while inside his car near his residence.
He did not reach the hospital alive. About five empty shells of a 5.56mm gun were recovered from the crime scene.
Police said the victim was killed in an apparent move to silence him for his knowledge of narco-politics in the town.
Badoc’s police chief, Senior Insp. Rodelio Santos, said the victim is a younger brother of a former Badoc town vice mayor, Thomas Torralba, who leads the town’s drug watch list.
Santos said Torralba’s killing may be attributed to illegal drug activities, where drug syndicates are “clearing within their ranks”.
He said at least 117 drug suspects from various villages of Badoc have surrendered during the past two weeks, and they are expecting more to turn themselves in, with the intensified drive against pushers and users.
WITH PNA REPORT