1 killed, 1 hurt in poll-related violence in MisOr

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 14 May) — One person was killed while another one was wounded in a shooting incident in Opol, Misamis Oriental Sunday on the eve of the May 14 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataang elections, police said.

Sunrise in Opol, Misamis Oriental. MindaNews file photo

Opol town police chief Senior Insp. Dennis Rowell Flores said they have detained a suspect, barangay chair Sino Dragon of Malana, Opol who surrendered after the incident last Sunday.

“Dragon told us he voluntarily surrendered to show his innocence but circumstantial evidence pointed at him as primary suspect,” Flores told reporters.

He said a witness identified Dragon as one of the 15 gunmen who waited and fired at the Toyota Hilux driven by Eleazar Zafra, the husband of his political opponent.

He said with Zafra in the Hilux were three companions. They were negotiating a hill at City Homes Subdivision when the gunmen fired.

“The suspects used the cover of darkness and superior number to conduct the crime. This is simply a murder case,” he said.

Flores said Zafra died after he was brought to the Polymedic Hospital in Cagayan de Oro. A companion was pronounced out of danger.

Misamis Oriental Provincial Election Supervisor Carlito Ravelo said the death of Zafra was the only violent incident recorded as of 4pm Monday.

“We have reports of supporters shouting at each other; reports of vote buying but otherwise the barangay elections went without any major trouble,” Ravelo said.

He said that in Barangay Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro, election officials and police had to intervene to pacify the supporters of former representative Rufus Rodriguez and Councilor Ian Nacaya who were taunting each other.

He said they are also monitoring closely the counting of ballots in nearby Barangay Indahag, where the election is hotly contested. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)