Barangay chair slain in ambush in Koronadal

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/09 August) — A barangay chair was killed while his cousin was seriously wounded in a daring ambush on Wednesday morning in an outskirt village here.

Supt. Ronald Allan Peñaverde, Koronadal City police chief, said Barangay Topland chair Baltazar Bermil and his cousin were on their way to the city proper aboard a barangay service vehicle when they were waylaid by two motorcycle-riding gunmen in Purok Garcia in Barangay Rotonda at around 10 a.m.

He said Bermil, who was driving the service vehicle, died on the spot due to three gunshot wounds in the neck and chest from a caliber .45 handgun.

His cousin, Nida Parcon, sustained two gunshot wounds but is already in stable condition in a hospital here, he said.

The police official said the assailants, who were wearing bonnets, were last seen speeding towards the direction of Barangay Sto. Niño aboard a Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle without a license plate.

City Mayor Peter Miguel has condemned the attack and directed the city police to exert all efforts to arrest the assailants and ensure the swift resolution of the case.

He instructed them to look into all possible motives and widen their investigation on the matter.

“As the father of this city, I am deeply saddened with what happened to barangay captain Bermil. We do not tolerate any killing here in the city,” he said in an interview over radio station dxMC Bombo Radyo.

The mayor, who had engaged with the slain barangay chair in recent activities, said he was not aware of any threat against the latter.

He said he will leave it to police investigators to determine whether the incident was driven by personal grudges or work-related.

Bermil had figured in a controversy after one of his nephews was arrested in a major drug raid in his village last July 30 that resulted to the recovery of around PHP2.36 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

The joint operatives nabbed eight other persons and seized several firearms and a rifle grenade.

On Tuesday, Miguel disclosed that three barangay chairs in the city and several other village councilors are being monitored by authorities due to their alleged involvement in illegal drug-related activities.

He required the city’s barangay chairs to submit the names of target drug personalities in their areas to prove that they were not protecting or coddling them.

Sources said Bermil was on his way to the office of City Local Government Operations Officer Juanito Agullana to clear his name when he was ambushed.

The mayor acknowledged that Bermil’s name was linked to the issue due to the involvement of his nephew in the illegal drug trade.

“These are based on records and the investigation of our authorities. We did not accuse him of anything,” Miguel added. (MindaNews)