Task force created to probe SBM candidate slay

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO — The Region 1 police has created a special task force to investigate the shooting to death of a candidate for councilor in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur.

Police Chief Supt. Constante D. Azares, Jr., PRO1 Regional Director, immediately ordered the creation of Special Investigation Task Force Group “Tugade” and dispatched three teams of the 1st Regional Public Safety Management Battalion under PSSupt Alejandro M. Valerio, Jr., to Ilocos Sur to assist the local police in their investigation.

Former Barangay Chairman Artemio Tugade y Escobar Tugade, 56, a resident of Barangay Cabaroan and a candidate for sangguniang bayan member in Sta. Maria town, was shot to death while he was driving a blue Honda XRM motorcycle in Poblacion Norte, Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur at about 11:30 o’clock last January 6.

The two unidentified suspects fled after the shooting aboard a yellow Honda XRM motorcycle and are now the subject of manhunt operations by the Ilocos Sur police.

“We have established checkpoints along possible escape routes, together with personnel of the Public Safety Provincial Maneuver Company based in Tagudin town,” provincial director Police Senior Superintendent Eduardo A. Dopale said.

Investigators found four (4) spent shells for caliber .45 pistol from the crime scene.

“We are looking into all possible motives behind the killing. Our investigation is still ongoing and we shall release updates on the case from time to time,” Dopale added.

Meanwhile, the Pangasinan police launched an intensified manhunt operation against the suspects in the shooting of a Comelec official in Sta. Maria town on January 6.

In a report to Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) director PCSupt Constante D. Azares, Jr., the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPO) headed by PSSupt Percival G. Barba disclosed that Juanito Villalba y Collado, 60, Comelec Election Assistant Officer of Sta. Maria town in Pangasinan province, was on his way home aboard his motorcycle when two unidentified suspects riding in tandem on a red Honda TMX 155 motorcycle shot him at close range.

Villalba sustained a lone gunshot wound in the lower back portion of his body and was brought to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Urdaneta City where he is undergoing treatment.

The suspects are now the subject of manhunt operation of the combined elements of Pangasinan PPO, the Pangasinan Provincial Public Safety Maneuver Company, and the 1st Regional Public Safety Management Battalion.

The police recovered from the crime scene two deformed slugs and two empty shells of caliber .45 pistol.#