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Killing Attempt in Pilar, Bohol

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Killing Attempt in Pilar, Bohol
« on: January 11, 2009, 09:31:00 AM »
Sunday Post

 Vendetta or revenge is one possible angle investigators are looking into as the slay attempt against two municipal officials of Pilar town entered its two-week period.

 This sleepy municipality was jolted from its pre-New Year revelry when a  bonnet-wearing man tried to kill with an unknown handgun Municipal Local Government Officer Joseph Malabusa, age unknown, and Calixta Orapa, 49, a widow and both residing in barangay Malinao, Pilar. 

 The two cheated death after the gun of the bungled assassin jammed causing the would-be victims to scamper for safety. But unknown to the supposed victims, the assailant was also armed with a grenade and exploded the same in the direction of his targets.

 It was to the good fortune of the victims that they were able to hide from the concrete stairway of the house reportedly owned by Orapa. Her companion, Malabusa and three others escaped unhurt. The grenade explosion shattered however, part of the house’s walling. Trees located nearby were also affected by the explosion.

 Fearing for their life that they were out to be liquidated as evidenced from the gunman’s determination (being armed with a gun and grenade) to wipe them out, the two sought protective custody from Camp Dagohoy authorities.

  This was confirmed by Police Inspector John Vasalo, chief of the Camp Dagohoy police investigation section, the lead agency of the on-going investigation.

 The vendetta motive cropped up after investigators learned that the two supposed victims were the complainants of a query they made before the Ombudsnman-Visayas. The query concerns the supposed cash discrepancies   by Fermina Margatinez, Pilar municipal treasurer.

 But in a check with Mayor Wilson Pajo of Pilar, it was gathered that the local officials only sent a query to the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas

 regarding the alleged cash shortfall. But the police report detailing the incident mentioned about a complaint filed by the two before the Ombudsman. The money shortage was said to be in the millions of pesos. As a consequence, Margatinez was placed in a floating status at the provincial treasurer's office while investigation is going regarding his cash problem. 

 In the same interview with Mayor Pajo, he revealed that as soon as he received a text message regarding the murder attempt, he lost no time in sending policemen to the crime scene. He also personally supervised the investigation of the Pilar police.

 The same police report indicated that Orapa and Malabusa and their three other companions had just been attending the Pilar beauty pageant at the town center the night of December 28. It was past midnight that they went home from the town activity.

 Unknown to them, the alleged gunman was waiting in ambush at the vicinity of the Orapa residence.

 Pilar and PNP investigators are also looking into the description provided by eyewitnesses of the alleged suspect.

 His medium built and 5’6” height bore similar features with the same gun man who also attempted the life of Rizal barangay captain. The barangay captain survived another slay try a month ago where the assailant also used a grenade to finish off the barangay captain of Rizal.

 Curious of the connection of the two Pilar incidents, the Post sought the reaction of Police Senior Supt. Edgardo Ingking. The PNP provincial director said that investigators are indeed looking into the possibility that the same person could be responsible on the attempt of the barangay captain’s life.

 This led to police suspicion that the perpetrator on the liquidation attempt of Orapa and Malabusa could be a “hired gun.”

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