By Bobby Q. Labalan
SORSOGON CITY --- A member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon was shot dead by a still unidentified assailant Tuesday morning.
Police report said Sorsogon First District Board Member Pedro Ravanilla was inspecting his building along Maharlika Highway at Barangay Pangpang in this city at around 8:50 a.m. when a lone gunman fired at him, hitting his head.
The suspect immediately left the crime scene, which is only about 50 meters from his residence, and fled towards the diversion road on board a motorcycle driven by his cohort.
The 54-year old victim, a first-term board member and a former member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod died on the spot.
His younger brother Martin, in an interview, said they were stunned by the tragic incident as the victim had no known enemies.
It was learned that Ravanilla had just come from the city proper for his morning walk.
The victim’s body had been retrieved by the Scene of the Crime Operatives or SOCO for autopsy.
Man held for questioning
Just minutes after the killing, an unidentified man was picked up by the police in a subdivision here and was taken in for questioning.
The man, wearing a bull cap, sando and short pants, was personally fetched by Supt. Dionesio Laceda, Sorsogon City police chief, at San Rafael Subdivision, a few hundred meters from the crime scene, and was herded onto a police mobile. Laceda himself rode with the unidentified person in the vehicle.
In an exclusive interview with Bicol Mail, Laceda said the person was not a suspect but a possible witness to the incident which occurred at around 8:50 AM along Maharlika Highway, Barangay Pangpang this city.
The police chief was alerted about the “person” by his men over the police radio as he was inspecting the crime scene.
He, however, said that the man failed to provide substantial information on the suspect as the gunman was wearing a bull cap. Laceda did not give any detail on the person’s identity or whether he was still in police custody as of press time.
Laceda added that they are pursuing some raw information but refused to reveal any details on them.
He also said that no closed-circuit TV along the route taken by the victim from the city center up to the crime scene was able to record any activity that could provide information on the killers.
Pangpang Barangay Captain Peter Jolloso, the victim’s brother-in-law, said he was also clueless on the killing saying that Ravanilla had not been staying in his residence but had already transferred to Metro Manila since last year.
As this developed, Gov. Robert Lee Rodrigueza has put up a P100,000 reward money for any information that could lead to the identity or arrest of the suspects.
Lee said he had instructed Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Ronaldo Cabral to leave no stone unturned in the probe of the Ravanilla killing which shocked the local community.
The governor condemned the slaying which he described as dastardly and shocking saying that he could not think of any possible motive that would provoke anyone to murder the first-term board member.
“From what we know, Board Member Ravanilla was a jolly and friendly person,” the governor said.
Ravanilla, who run under the UNA political party during the May 2016 election, was a contractor and is now involved in property leasing. He was a three-term Sorsogon City councillor before running for board member.
S/Supt Cabral, in a phone interview, said that he has organized a dedicated investigating team (DIT) that would focus on the slay case.
“We have raw information which have to be thoroughly probed,” he added, even as he cleared Ravanilla from involvement in illegal drugs.
The police director said he himself was stunned by the killing, the report of which reached while on a regional command conference in Camarines Sur.
Cabral said he had excused himself from the meeting and would rush back to this city to personally look into the case.
Meanwhile, Board Member Eric Ravanilla, a nephew of the victim, strongly condemned the killing, as he urged the PNP to ensure that justice is served on the perpetrators and the mastermind.
He said they were all shocked by the incident which had not happened to an incumbent provincial official in recent history of the province. Mediaworks Communication