SoCot councilor shoots farmer during drinking spree

A report from the South Cotabato provincial police office here said Councilor Clemente Fedoc shot dead Edgardo Payupane following a brief quarrel at a store near the plaza of Purok Riverside in Barangay 08, Norala.

The victim sustained a gunshot wound from a .38 caliber pistol reportedly owned by Fedoc.

In an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo here this morning, Fedoc admitted that he has taken temporary refuge at an undisclosed portion of the town following the shooting incident, which he claimed as an act of self defense.

"He drew his bolo towards me so I was forced to shot him as self defense," he said.

Fedoc, a former chair of Barangay 08, said he and several friends were busy discussing something while gathered in front of a local store when the victim allegedly approached their group.

He said Payupane, whom he claimed was a village toughie, immediately engaged barangay secretary Renato Frondoso in a heated argument over a case lodged at the barangay council involving the victim's son.

Fedoc claimed Payupane refused to heed Frondoso's advise to bring his son to the barangay hall the next day to sign a settlement document.

"He was very adamant so I intervened and asked him to calm down and he did," he said.

But Fedoc said the victim agreed to leave but suddenly came back towards him angrily barking that he has no business intervening on the case since he is no longer the barangay chair.

Fedoc said Payupane was reportedly drawing a bolo while approaching, prompting him to shot the latter.

"It happened so fast but I have witnesses who can prove that he was the one who provoked me," said Fedoc, who admitted that he has taken some amount of alcoholic drink during the incident.

Fedoc said he left his house after the incident but insisted that he is still within the municipality.

"I will surrender maybe this afternoon or early tomorrow so I could clear my name and face possible charges they have against me," he added.

Senior Supt. Robert Kiunasala, South Cotabato police director, said he has directed the Norala police station to dig deeper into the incident, which the victim's family decried as murder.

He also directed police investigators to track down the whereabouts of the councilor.

But he urged Fedoc to voluntarily surrender as soon as possible to facilitate their investigation and the resolution of the case.