Bacolod mayor's brother found dead

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Sunday, January 6, 2013


BACOLOD -- Andres “Andy” Leonardia, the elder brother of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, was found dead with a gunshot wound in the head at his eldest son’s residence in Fortuna Subdivision Silay City, Negros Occidental, last Saturday.

Andy, a widower, was a former general manager of VMC Rural Electric Service Cooperative Inc. and a candidate for Bacolod City councilor under the Nationalist People's Coalition headed by Mayor Leonardia.

Silay City Police Office Director Rosauro Francisco said the police received a phone call from the family of the victim around 9:30 a.m.

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Police personnel proceeded immediately to the crime scene and found the victim sprawling on his room, bathing in his own blood.

The chief of police of Silay City immediately sought the assistance of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) and Crime Laboratory personnel of the Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (Noppo) to assess the crime scene.

Francisco said initial investigation of the Silay Police Office revealed strong indication that it was a case of an accidental firing.

He said there were no direct eyewitnesses who had seen the actual incident, except that the members of the family inside the house heard a lone gunshot coming from the victim's room.

Francisco said personnel from Soco and Crime Lab of Noppo are the proper authority who can issue an official statement as to what actually happened.

“We are just relying on what the Silay investigators had gathered from those inside the crime scene, but it is not yet conclusive,” Francisco said.

He said that maybe, Andy was playing with his .45 caliber pistol when he accidentally squeezed the trigger.

The police official said he talked with the victim’s family and they told him there is no any personal or family problem that may have triggered Andy to commit suicide.

Noppo officer-in-charge Senior Superintendent Milko Lirazan, in a separate interview, confirmed that the victim sustained a gunshot wound in his head that caused his instantaneous death.

According to initial investigation, the driver of the victim saw Andy placing his gun on his bed, but the gun accidentally fired.

Police recovered from the scene one .45 caliber pistol, one fired cartridge, one deformed slug and one deformed metal jacket.

Lirazan said the recovered evidences are now in the custody of Soco for examination, adding that the Silay police are still conducting thorough investigation to determine if there was foul play involved.

It was also learned that the victim had withdrawn money from an ATM and had eaten breakfast before he went back to the house and proceeded to his room.

Sun.Star also learned from members of the Grupo Progreso under which Andy is running for a post in the City Council of Bacolod that a day before the incident, the victim was jolly and was the first to have inquired about his campaign vest. Andy was also seen joking with his peers.

Officials of the City Government of Bacolod and members of Grupo Progreso headed by Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, former councilor Greg Gasataya and incumbent members of the City Council went to the victim’s house and expressed their sympathies to the Leonardia family.

President Benigno Aquino III also called Mayor Leonardia and the eldest son of the late Andres Leonardia, Carlo Lacson Leonardia, soon after the President heard the news about the death in the family.

MKK Mayoralty candidate and relative Monico Puentevella also extended his condolences to the family.

Also seen at the Leonardia’s residence in Silay City were Bacolod City Police Office Director Ricardo Dela Paz, City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group head Superintendent Santiago Rapiz and Chief Inspector Luisito Acebuche.

Andy's body was brought to a private mortuary in Barangay Bata in Bacolod City where his remains were cremated after a holy mass Saturday evening.

His ashes were brought to and will stay at the family's ancestral house at Rosario St., Bacolod City until Monday. It will then be brought to his home in Silay City. (With Merlinda A. Pedrosa/Teresa D. Ellera/Sun.Star Bacolod/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 07, 2013.

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