MANILA, Philippines – The treasurer of Barangay Zapote II in Bacoor, Cavite was shot dead in front of his eight-year-old daughter and nine-year-old niece in Las Piñas City before dawn yesterday, in what could be considered as the first recorded election-related violence for the barangay polls next month.
In an interview over dzRH, Arasga’s common-law wife, Victoria Navarro, 38, said she believes her husband’s death had something to do with supporting their barangay chairman, re-electionist Ramon Bautista.
“This could be politically motivated because the (barangay) elections are approaching,” she said.
The victim ran for councilor and lost in the previous elections.
Arasga, 48, was in a jeep to take his daughter and niece to Central Elementary School in Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas City when one of the passengers drew a gun and demanded his bag, which reportedly contained an undetermined amount of money.
Arasga resisted, and the gunman shot him in the head along Diego Cera Avenue in Pulang Lupa Uno at around 5:30 a.m.
His daughter and niece were in shock after witnessing the killing, said SPO2 Rolando Abraham. The girls immediately alighted from the jeep with their blood-spattered clothes and walked towards their house, which was three kilometers away, to inform their relatives.
Police are eyeing robbery as the main motive behind the killing as the gunman only fired at the victim after he refused to give up his bag, which reportedly contained money.
Abraham also downplayed Navarro’s statement that the killing was politically motivated. He said while the victim was associated with Bautista, he “was unlikely to become a target because he was just a mere supporter.”
Arasga, however, was the only one robbed and shot among the passengers in the jeep.
Police said the crime was “premeditated” because a cohort on a motorcycle, which was used by the suspect as getaway vehicle, trailed Arasga’s jeep since the victim and the girls boarded the vehicle at Zapote Market in Bacoor.
Arasga owned a money-lending business and usually had petty cash in his bag, Abraham said. He added that when the victim’s body was inspected, police found P13,000 more in his wallet and pocket.
Meanwhile, Abraham said they have already produced a sketch of Arasga’s killer.
Based on a witness testimony, the assailant was between 5’5” and 5’4” in height, dark-skinned, has a thick mustache, and was clad in a black jacket and denim shorts.
– By Aie Balagtas See (Philstar News Service, www.philstar.com)