By Bobby Q. Labalan
Sorsogon City --- Crime indeed does not pay.
This again was proven after the suspected killer of a municipal councilor in Donsol town was himself killed in a shootout with police in Candelaria town in Quezon province Saturday morning, May 6.
Senior Supt. Ronaldo Cabral, Sorsogon police provincial director, confirmed that Eduardo Magtibay was slain by elements of the Candelaria Municipal Police Station and the Quezon Police Provincial Public Safety Office following a buy-bust operation.
Magtibay, 49, shot it out with the law enforcers during an 11-hour stand-off at Brgy. Malabanban, Candelaria after he evaded arrest during the anti-drug operation.
Cabral said that Magtibay was the main suspect in the killing of Brgy. Captain Joel Briones, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay of Donsol, Sorsogon and an ex-official member of the town’s legislative council.
In an interview, Chief Inspector Joel Trinanes, Donsol police chief, said Magtibay shot Briones point blank in the early evening of October 9, 2016 when he chanced upon the barangay captain in a sari-sari store in Barangay Tinanogan, some 8 kilometers from the town proper.
Trinanes said Magtibay, whose common-law wife hailed from Donsol, harboured personal grudge against Briones due to the latter’s anti-drug campaign which targeted, among others, the suspect.
The police chief said that the suspect, who ranked second in their anti-drug watch list, had earlier surrendered to them under the Oplan Tokhang Program but continued with his illegal activity.
He said that this prompted Briones to continue citing him in the village’s anti-drug reports which got the ire of the assailant until their chance meeting at the sari-sari store.
Trinanes said that Magtibay was positively identified by witnesses as the killer. He was charged with murder before the Regional Trial Court Branch 52 which issued an arrest warrant early this year.
The police chief said that they had earlier known that the suspect went back to his place of origin in Quezon but they could not launch an operation for his arrest as they lacked funds, a common constraint among police stations in the country. (Mediaworks Communication)