Spate of killings mars observance of Holy Week in Masbate


MASBATE CITY, Masbate, April 6 — A spate of killings mars an otherwise generally peaceful observance of Holy week in the province of Masbate.

An incumbent village barangay head went on a shooting spree, killing a farmer and wounding another inside a cockpit on Saturday morning in Barangay Nabongsoran, Aroroy, Masbate. Dead on the spot was Zaldy Villar Jr., 28, a resident of Barangay Bogtong, Mandaon, Masbate, while wounded and brought to the Masbate Provincial Hospital was Salvador Villar, 41, of the same village.

While it is not yet known if the two were related, the suspect, who immediately escaped, was Barangay Captain Leo Cabarles of Nabongsoran.

Senior Supt. Jesus Martirez, provincial police director of Masbate, reports the incident happened at about 11:00 a.m. when Cabarles was talking with one Edgardo Amparo Jr., who is in charge of the cockpit. A heated argument ensued between the two, the report said, causing Cabarles to draw his cal. 9mm pistol and shot Amparo, who immediately run for safety.

The bullet found its mark on the younger Villar’s head, killing him instantly. Another stray bullet hit the elder Villar, who was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Martirez said Cabarles was arguing with Amparo about the low percentage of share he would get from the cockfight proceeds, resulting in heated arguments and the shooting.

Meanwhile, in Aroroy, a businessman and his companions were shot dead by still unidentified armed men in uniform Sunday morning. Police identified the victims only as Ka Isong Amaro, an Iglesia Ni Cristo member, one Boyet Amaro and his bodyguard. Amaro was a local financier of small-scale miners in this town .

Reports from Barangay Luy-a residents where the victims live said that at around 4:00 a.m., a band of armed men barged into the house of Amaro and shot the three victims dead. Weeks before the incident, it was learned that Amaro’s residence was fired at with explosives by the unknown suspects.

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