2 supporters of Iloilo town mayoral bet shot dead
ILOILO CITY, Philippines - Two supporters of Estancia town mayoral candidate Melina Requinto were shot dead at around 1:45 PM on Sunday, May 8, in Barangay Panian in Balasan, Iloilo.
The victims Roberto Margarso, 44, from Balatocan in Passi City, and Ronaldo Estandarte, 56, from Barangay Bayuyan in Estancia died of multiple gunshot wounds after they were pursued by armed men riding a white pick-up truck and motorcycle, Balaan Police reported.
Police recovered 16 empty shells of an M16 armalite rifle, five empty shells of a caliber .9MM pistol, two empty shells of caliber .45 pistol, and two live ammunitions of M16.
Requinto is running under the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC). Manuel Mejorada, former Iloilo provincial administrator, in a Facebook post, said Requinto is accusing her opponent RC Cordero of the Liberal Party for the killings.
"There is no doubt in my mind who ordered this," Requinto reportedly said.
Requinto added that the suspects were allegedly led by Federico Balome, seen riding a white pick-up truck often seen in Villa Lily, a property owned by Cordero.
The mayoral candidate said Balome has been "roaming in Estancia the last few weeks and knocking on the doors of Requinto's leaders while brandishing a high-powered rifle to threaten them with death."
Estancia, a second class municipality in Iloilo, has 27,447 registered voters for the May 9 polls. Three candidates - Requinto (NPC), Cordero (LP), and Elmer Bayot (independent) - are vying for the town's mayoral seat.
Local police are still investigating the incident as of writing. - With reports from Iloilo Movers/ Rappler.com
Russel Jude Patina is one of Rappler's lead mover in Iloilo.