Sarangani village chair killed, companion hurt in shooting incident

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 July) – An incumbent barangay chair from Alabel town in Sarangani province was killed while her companion was wounded in an attack by motorcycle-riding suspects in a village here on Wednesday night.

Chief Insp. Peter Pinalgan, chief of the city police station-3, said Barangay Baluntay chair Jonalyn Sumagka, 37, was aboard a car temporarily parked on one side of the highway in Purok Matahimik, Barangay Baluan here when she was shot at around 8:30 p.m.

He said the victim and her “live-in partner,” retired police officer Johnny Kinjiyo, has just stopped by a row of “balut” stalls in the area when a lone gunman approached and opened fire.

Kinjiyo, 53, is a retired Senior Police Officer 4 and last assigned at the Philippine National Police Maritime Group.

Sumagka sustained three gunshot wounds on the chest and body and was immediately rushed by Kinjiyo, who was slightly wounded, to the Socsargen County Hospital here.

She eventually succumbed to her wounds past 11 p.m. while Kinjiyo was declared in stable condition after only sustaining a graze on the abdomen part.

Responding police operatives recovered at the scene two spent shells and a live bullet of a caliber .45 handgun.

Edgar Diamante, Barangay Baluan chair, said the victims have not yet alighted from the vehicle when the shooting happened.

Citing accounts from witnesses, he said the gunman left the scene aboard a waiting motorcycle driven by a cohort.

Pinalgan said they are currently eyeing several angles, including personal and work-related circumstances, as possible motive of the incident.

Based on the initial information gathered by their investigators, he said the slain barangay chair was supposedly involved in a land conflict that led to a personal grudge.

He said they are also looking at the incident as possibly related to Sumagka’s work as chair of Barangay Baluntay, Alabel.

“We’re coordinating with the Alabel police station to check for possible recorded threats on her life prior to the incident,” Pinalgan said in an interview over Brigada News TV.

He added that they also gathering information from several eyewitnesses to help establish the identities of the assailants. (MindaNews)