LUNA, APAYAO – Councilor Bienvenido Verzola III was shot dead after taking his oath for public office.

Verzola, the son of the late mayor Betty Versola, was shot dead early evening of January 13, at Purok Fideleon, Poblacion, by still unidentified men.

Verzola was standing in front of a waiting shed at town proper when the shooting occurred. He died of multiple gunshot wounds on his right arm, left thigh, below the nipple and left knee, lacerations on the forehead and fractures in his skull.

Apayao police director Albertito Garcia said police are eyeing three motives in the killing of the newly installed councilor.

Verzola, endorsed by the political party of his late mother after her death last year to take the vacancy in the local council, after attending his first session as councilor when he was shot dead.

Garcia said the police are ruling out politics in the death of Verzola and are following up the angle of a personal grudge.

Garcia revealed the next day, January 14, Jeffrey Pinzon, brother in-law of the victim submitted an alleged fired bullet which he recovered inside his vehicle used in transporting Verzola to the hospital.

The police were able to recover six cartridges from a caliber .45 firearm and a lone metal fragment from the scene of the crime.

Pinzon and Millo Ramos were with Verzola at the time of his death.

Ramos said he noticed a person at the waiting shed wearing a bull cap which he immediately relayed to Verzola.

Verzola drove his motorcycle and proceeded to the waiting shed and after few minutes, they heard several gun shots.

Pinzon told police he saw the gunman immediately flee on board a motorcycle toward barangay San Isidro Sur.

Pinzon chased the alleged suspects until barangay San Isidro Sur but failed to accost them.

His mother, Mayor Betty Verzola and her bodyguard died in a tragic vehicular accident along Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte June, weeks after taking her oath in office.

They were on their way home from an official function in the Summer Capital.