Estrada orders arrest of village chief’s killer

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Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada on Friday ordered the Manila Police District (MDP) to get the perpetrator in the gun slaying on Thursday of a barangay (village) chief, the fifth barangay head to be murdered in the city since January.

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Arnel Parce, 47, whom Estrada described in a statement as the “very competent, industrious and down to earth” chairman of Barangay 20, Zone 2, was killed Thursday night by motorcycle riding men along Roque Street in Tondo. The incident was caught on CCTV. The gunman and his companion fled after the shooting.

There was a report yesterday that an artist’s sketch of the gunman was available. The gunman’s face was reportedly seen by Christopher Balotinos, alias “Pipi,” who was able to grab the assailant’s gun as the other witnesses fled.

However, when asked for a copy, Supt. Erwin Margarejo, MPD spokesman could not confirm it.

Estrada remembered Parce as the one who always sought his help in assisting the families displaced after a fire.
“He always had a heart for his constituents,” Estrada said.

Parce had been receiving death threats after he declared that he would go after drug addicts and pushers in the barangay.

Supt. Santiago Pascual, chief of the MPD Station 2, said police recovered from the crime scene a .45 caliber “shooters” pistol.

“We turned over the gun to the MPD Homicide Section for ballistics tests and to check if the serial numbers could still be seen on the firearm. Once the serial numbers are seen, hopefully we would be able to trace the owner of the gun,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, MPD director, ordered his men to focus on the case and find Parce’s killers.
Parce is the fifth barangay chairman in Manila to be slain since January.

The others killed by still unknown assailants were Tito Caldoza, Jr. of Barangay 106, Zone 8, Tondo, who was shot dead just outside the barangay hall on January 25; Nenita Acuna of Barangay 200, Zone 18, Tondo, killed on March 3; Angelito Sarmiento of Barangay 751, Zone 81, who was shot dead inside his house in Malate on May 26; and Dante Gonzalo of Barangay 670, Zone 72 in Ermita, who was killed on June 26.

Meanwhile, barangay chairman Kristo Hispano of Barangay 649, Zone 88 in Baseco Compound, who was ambushed on June 21 after attending Estrada’s awarding of outstanding barangay officials for the 446th Araw ng Maynila celebration at the Manila Hotel, survived an ambush.

Only Sarmiento was in the MPD’s watch list of barangay officials involved in drugs.

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