• Suspect in Kalinga vice governor’s 2007 killing falls

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    TUGUEGARAO CITY: A suspect in the killing of Vice Governor Rommel Diasen of Kalinga province in 2007 is now in the custody of the provincial police in Tabuk City for trial.

    Reports said the suspect is Angelito Dangli, 68, of Tabuk City, now detained at the Tabuk Provincial Jail following his arrest in Quezon City earlier this week.

    Also a retired policeman, Dangli was arrested by police while having his meal at a fast food restaurant in Quezon City which was confirmed in a national television network on Friday.

    Police said the suspect will stand trial for Diasen’s slay six years ago while detained at the Tabuk Provincial Jail.

    In April 2007, Diasen, 58, was fielded by the administration’s Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) for governor.

    Believed to be purely politically motivated, Diasen was shot dead while campaigning in broad daylight in the capital city where he also once served as mayor.

    Diasen was substituted for the gubernatorial post by his wife, Floydelia, and won but lost to now Gov. Jocel Baac in the 2010 elections.

    Besides politics, Diasen’s slay is also believed to have something to do with tribal conflicts.

    Reports said that one of the suspected gunmen belongs to the Magnao-Guilayon tribe while the slain Diasen’s clan is identified with the Madukayong community.

    Both tribes, however, dismissed the theory of a tribal conflict as the reason behind the killing of the vice governor.

    Meanwhile, another suspect who reportedly yielded to authorities in Baguio City admitted involvement in the killing.

    The suspect, Joel Melod, 24, also of Kalinga province admitted that his involvement was in retaliation to the killing in 2004 of a relative, Judge Milnar Lammawin of Kalinga Regional Trial Court, also reportedly the first cousin of Floydelia.

    Melod, ever since until the reported arrest of another suspect in the killing earlier this week, has not been heard of.

    Leander C. Domingo

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