A CONSTRUCTION worker said to be a relative of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III was shot and killed by one of two men on board a motorcycle Thursday morning, December 29, at Balulang National High School, Balulang village, Cagayan de Oro City.
Police identified the victim as Jerome Pimentel, 28, a resident of Lower Balulang, this city.
Investigators said two bonnet-wearing suspects on board a motorcycle arrived at the construction site and pretended to ask the victim a question before shooting him in the face.
“Niduol sila sa amo ug nangutana nga ‘Kaila ka ni kuan’ wala na matiwas ang pangutana diretso dayon pusil (They came to us and asked ‘Do you this’ they did not finish the question and immediately shoot),” victim's co-worker said.
Pimentel sustained three gunshot wounds in the face, neck and abdomen from a caliber .45 pistol.
Senior Police Officer 3 Lito Baculio of Police Station 4 said Pimentel was the subject of numerous complaints at the village and at the police station.
“Last record niya katong namundak kini og bato and sumala sa mga barangay officials medyo wild daw ni siya (His last record was when he slammed a rock and according to the village officials, he was a bit wild),” Baculio said.
Baculio said Pimentel was a known troublemaker in the village and was the primary suspect in the killing of a certain Sanday Mabaylan last June.
Pimentel had also “surrendered” during the “Oplan Tokhang” conducted by the police and village officials earlier this year.
Investigators believe the killers may have been motivated by a personal grudge or may be drug related.
Pimentel's father Jose said the perpetrators may have been planning well with the assassination.
He said the victim had not mentioned any death threats prior to the incident.
“Wala siya mosulti nga naa siyay hulga. Dili mi kabalo kinsa kaha ang mihimo sa pagpatay (He did not mention that he was threatened. We do not know who would kill him),” the father said.
The Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) recovered two spent shells and will subject the victim's body for autopsy.
“Kailangan i-autopsy para malaman natin kung close range 'yung pagkatira (We need to conduct an autopsy to determine if he was shot in close range),” Soco chief Christian Caballes said.
The victim was reportedly the second degree cousin of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.
A police officer who refused to be named said a representative of the senator had gone to the police station and asked about the case.
“Naay nianha nga representative nga gisugo daw ni senator ug nangutana unsay plastar sa kaso (A representative who was ordered by the senator came to us and asked about the case),” the police said.
Balulang village councilman Roldan Mabaylan said the victim and his family have been living in the property owned by the Pimentels.
“Paryente rana sila kay kana ilang gipuy-an yuta mana nila Senator Pimentel (They are relatives since the land they occupy belongs to Senator Pimentel),” Mabaylan said.