Marikina City, Philippines — Two local government officials, one is an incumbent mayor from a Batangas town and another a former vice governor of Abra, were murdered in separate shooting incidents in Batangas and Marikina City on Saturday morning, June 10.
Mayor Leovino Hidalgo of Balete municipality in Batangas province was watching a basketball game sponsored by the municipal government at about 10:30 A.M. when the hitman entered the basketball court and assassinated Hidalgo once in the head, run away afterwards on board a white van.
Hidalgo was declared dead-on-arrival (DOA) at the Metro Lipa Medical Center in Lipa City, Batangas.
The shooting happened at the basketball court near the municipality’s local Philippine National Police (PNP) station in Barangay Poblacion.
The Balete mayor was without his security bodyguards when the assassination took place.
Recovered from the crime scene was a contorted slug of suspected caliber M-16 rifle.
The Batangas Police Director, Senior Superintendent Randy Petalta, have immediately activated Oplan Kalasag to catch the suspect, and a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) will be arranged to assist the investigation in the assassination of Hidalgo. He is on his third term as Balete mayor.
Meanwhile, the former vice governor of Abra, Rolando Somera, was assassinated by an unknown mugger in Marikina City.
The initial investigation revealed that Somera just left a cockfight arena at Barangay San Roque in Marikina City at around 1 A.M. and was walking toward his gray Toyota Fortuner when a lone gunslinger appeared and fired shots directly at him at close range, according to a report to the Eastern Police District (EPD).
His two assistants—Reynaldo de Luna and Wilfredo Apalisoc were hit by stray bullets and were brought by tricycle to different medical hospital, where they remained confined.
One of the offspring of Rolando Somera said the 62-year-old politician was in high spirits a day prior, as he had just received an endorsement from former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to be a director of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA).