Land row eyed in councilor’s slay

Another shooting incident in Ubay capped the weekend deadline of weeklies. A town councilor of Ubay figured as the latest casualty.

This time, the police ruled out illegal drugs, and look into land dispute as possible angle in the ambush of Ubay Municipal Councilor Alan Abad at around 4:45 p.m. yesterday in barangay Achila, about three kilometers from his residence in Poblacion.

The 56-year-old councilor was on his way to their post-harvest facility about 200 meters from the highway junction on board his Honda XRM motorcycle when the suspects riding in tandem shot him seven times at point blank.

The victim sustained six entry gunshot wounds from the back and six exit wounds in the front portion of the upper portion of body–including the chest, and another through-and-through gunshot wound in the head.

The municipal health officer declared him dead on the spot.

Scene of the crime operatives recovered a caliber .45 slug and seven caliber .45 empty shells.

PCInsp. Petronilo Gracia Jr., chief of police of Ubay, immediately launched a hot pursuit operation based on the description of witnesses on the assailants.

The police also requested an autopsy that could be significant in aid of the possible murder case to be filed later.

Witnesses saw two men on board a blue Honda Wave fleeing the crime scene moments after the burst of gunfire faded.

One of them stands 5’4”, while the other, 5’6”, and both concealed their identities by wearing bull caps that overshadowed their faces and sunglasses.

Gracia noted that the gunmen intended to avoid causing alarm by doing away with the usual use of helmet to cover the face.

The chief of police said the powder burn evident in the victim’s body confirmed that the assailants shot him at close range.

Thick napier grass shielded both sides of the barangay road where Abad was driving his motorccyle, making the dark design oblivious to those hanging around Liza Bar near the corner of the highway.

They only heard the burst of gunfire moments and they waited for it to stop before they checked the area.

Abad came from his 120-hectare ricefield, and headed to their post-harvest facility about 200 meters from the highway.

According to Gracia, Abad earns millions of pesos from his ricefield.

Based on initial assessment of investigators, the assailants must have waited for him about 100 meters away to their rice dryer shop, or about halfway from the highway to the shop.

Abad had served as town councilor for three terms in the past, then after a hiatus of one term or three years, he returned. He was already on the second term of his supposed second set of three-term stretch return.

Mayor Galicano Atup expressed lament upon the incident, considering that Abad proved to be vocal and sincere member of the Sangguniang Bayan.

Abad chairs the SB Committee on Agriculture and serves as vice-chair of the SB Committee on Appropriations.

Atup said the victim has no personal foe, but must have sown ire for his vocal comments regarding the municipal government’s purchase of a property that has been a hot issue tackled almost everyday in public affairs program and blocktime programs in Ubay radio stations.

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