SAN FERNANDO CITY – Gov. Michael Keon, Mayor Asuncion Pagdilao and Ilocos police director Chief Superintendent Leopoldo Bataoil have put up a P150,000 reward for the immediate arrest of the suspects in the murder of a priest in Barangay Puritac, Pinili town.
Bataoil said they have put up P150,000 as reward for anyone who can provide information that will lead to the identification and eventual arrest of the suspects in the slaying of Fr. Florante Rigonan, parish priest of Isadore Parish Church in Pinili, Ilocos Norte.
Rigonan was shot at around 10:40 p.m. on Sept. 4 as he was about to board his Toyota Hi-Ace van after conducting a prayer at the house of the spouses Florencio and Elisea Macalma, balikbayan retirees, in Barangay Puritac.
He succumbed from multiple gunshot wounds from an M-16 Armalite rifle.
Policemen invited Police Officer 1 Darwin Macalma and four of his relatives, Roger, George, Lyndia and Liwliwa, all surnamed Macalma, for questioning and subjected for paraffin tests at the crime laboratory in Camp Juan Laoag City.
Bataoil said all the five suspects tested negative for gun powder based on the result of a laboratory exam as confirmed by Sr. Supt. Marvin Bolabola, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Ilocos.
Bolabola however said the suspects are not yet off the hook as they are still in the process of collating evidence that may link them to the slaying.
Bataoil said they are eying envy as the motive of the killing as the suspects allegedly became jealouse when their relative, the Macalma couple donated $100,000 (roughly P5-million) for the construction of the chapel in Barangay Balbuena, Pinili town.#