Masbate Cop Faces Murder Raps

Monday, April 26th, 2010

LEGAZPI CITY, April 22  -- Authorities filed Thursday murder charges against a Masbate policeman, the principal suspect in the killing of a political supporter of a mayoral candidate in Placer town in Masbate, a Philippine National Police (PNP) official said.

Police Senior Supt. Eddie Benigay, PNP Masbate provincial director, said the PNP had filed today with the provincial prosecutors office murder case against Police Officer (PO1) Gilbert Patingan, the security escort of incumbent Placer town Mayor Joshur Judd Seachon Lanete.

The suspect had been pinpointed by witnesses to be responsible for the killing of Carlo Antipolo, a political supporter of mayoralty candidate Fernando Talisic, a political rival of Lanete, who is seeking a re-election.

Benigay said the shooting incident took place on Thursday afternoon last week at the campaign headquarters of mayoral candidate Talisik in Barangay Katipunan, Placer town.

The suspect was immediately arrested and disarmed by responding members of Special Task force Masbate (TFM) and was detained at the town police station.

Investigator said the initial investigation revealed that there was a petty heckling among the supporters of the opposing candidates when the vehicle convoy carrying the supporters of Mayor Lanete passed the group of Talisik.

The incident was followed by an exchange of gunfire among the opposing groups where in Antipolo was killed. One of the vehicles of Mayor Lanete also bore a bullet hole, probers said.

At present, the Special Task Force Masbate has recorded eight election-related violent incidents (ERVIs). Masbate has recorded 22 ERVI's in 2004 and 18 cases in 2007 elections. (PNA)