Police probe killing of former Sarangani vice mayor

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 October) — Police have launched a deeper investigation into the killing on Monday of a former vice mayor of the coastal town of Maasim in Sarangani Province.

Insp. Rodel Javison, Maasim police chief, said Tuesday they are looking at several angles as possibly behind the murder of long-time municipal councilor and ex-vice mayor Eulogio Benitez, who was gunned down at his farm in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Colon at past 7 a.m. Monday.

He said the 82 year-old victim was just visiting his farm when he was shot three times by a still unidentified assailant.

Witnesses reportedly saw a lone gunman hastily leaving the scene aboard a motorcycle, he said.

Jolita Albero, the victim’s live-in partner, said she was working inside a nearby farmhouse when she suddenly heard three gunshots.

She immediately checked on Benitez and saw that he was already lying on the ground and had some gunshot wounds.

The victim sustained gunshot wounds on the left side of his body, in the neck and left arm from a still undetermined firearm.

“We don’t have any idea as to who would want to do this to him as he had no known enemies,” Albero said in the vernacular.

Javison said they are already focusing on several possible motives regarding the case but refused to give any details.

He said they are also working on the identification of the gunman and the possible masterminds of the killing.

“Our investigation and hot pursuit operations are currently ongoing,” the police official said.

Benitez served as municipal councilor of Maasim for three straight terms from 1988 until 1998 when he was elected vice mayor. He ran for mayor in 2001 but eventually lost.

He last ran for mayor of Maasim as an independent in the 2010 local and national elections. (MindaNews)