TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija – A 31-year-old village councilor was arrested Friday night for allegedly masterminding the murder of a colleague who was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding gunman while attending the interment of a villager at the public cemetery in Barangay Poblacion here earlier that day.
Supt. Alexie Desamito, town police chief, said Jervie Bondoc, councilman of Barangay Dimasalang Sur provided the gunman information on the whereabouts of the victim, Ramoncito Magtalapa,55, also a village councilor, that led to the killing at around 10:12 am.
Magtalapa succumbed to a lone bullet wound on the back of his head that pierced through the forehead from a .9mm pistol.
Desamito said the victim was talking to a neighbor at the cemetery when fired at close range by the gunman. He was declared dead upon arrival at a local hospital, she said.
A follow-up operation led to the arrest of Bondoc who turned to have an ax to grind against the victim owing to his family’s belief that Magtalapa was behind the assassination in Aug. 2018 of the former’s (Bondoc’s) father who was then reelected for second term as councilman.
The younger Bondoc was appointed as his father’s replacement for the unexpired term.
Desamito said witnesses saw Bondoc roaming around the cemetery but rushed to leave the place after the killing.
“Initially, tinitingnan natin kung may kinalaman ito sa pulitika. But as we go deeper, lumalabas na revenge, revenge po,” Desamito said, saying that investigators have managed to extract “vital information,” from Bondoc himself.
In an interview, Bondoc admitted that the alleged gunman, a certain ‘Waway’ Jimenez, had been convincing him to get back at Magtalapa for P50,000.
When he turned down, Bondoc said, Jimenez vowed to carry out the killing for free.
Jimenez, Bondoc said, was his father’s bosom buddy.
“Pumunta po sila sa akin pagkatapos ng libing ng aking ama, ng tatay ko po, sabi po niya igaganti po namin,” he said. Jimenez was with another hitman who claimed to have executed politicians in Isabela province.
“Sabi ni Jimenez, kahit walang involved na pera ako na lang yung babawi sa tatay mo,” he reportedly said.