A REELECTIONIST councilor in Moises Padilla town, Negros Occidental was gunned down by unidentified armed men believed to be members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in front of his family inside their residence in Barangay Inolingan Sunday morning, March 31.
Killed was Councilor Jolomar Hilario, 51, who was running on his last term for the midterm elections in May.
Police Major Junji Liba, town police chief, said the victim was sleeping when about 50 armed men on board three trucks arrived and entered his house at 6 a.m.
The gunmen reportedly identified themselves as NPAs.
Hilario’s wife, who is the town's Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) president, and children were threatened but they were left unharmed.
The assailants then fled towards Quintin Remo village on board the same vehicles.
The victim who sustained multiple gunshot wounds was declared dead at a hospital.
Liba said the armed men prior to the attack, allegedly threatened truck drivers to use their vehicles.
They also used the trucks to block the ways leading to the house of the victim.
Liba said police have yet to check where the trucks were left by the assailants.
Police recovered from the scene several fired bullets of unknown firearms.
The victim, according to his family, has no previous threats. They are calling for justice for his death.
Police have yet to determine the motive as the investigation is still ongoing.
In October 2016, Hilario, together with his son, who was working at the municipal hall at that time, were tested positive for illegal drug use.
The police, though, have yet to investigate if this has something to do with the crime.
The town has been one of the areas in Negros Occidental which is being monitored due to the existing insurgency problem and history of violence and election-related incidents.
Liba, meanwhile, advised candidates to be always vigilant especially that the town is one of the areas in the province considered to be rebel-affected. (GYM)