Ex-ARB leader shot dead

Police cordon the area in Barangay 5, Victorias City, Negros Occidental, where a former ARB leader was gunned down Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Police already have persons of interest behind the murder of a

former Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) leader who was shot along Osmeña Avenue, Barangay 5, Victorias City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday.

The victim was identified as Roldan Berito, 40, of Barangay Purisima, Manapla town, who was also a former member of the Manapla Rapid Police Auxiliary or a force multiplier, according to Police Lieutenant Genus David, police community relations officer of Victorias City Police Station.

David said the shooting happened while the victim was about to buy a cigarette in the area. “Daw may imeet up daw siya according sa mga tawo nga nakakita,” he added.

A perpetrator, whose face was covered, approached the victim and shot him in the head at close range, then fled on board a motorcycle driven by his unidentified accomplice, David said.

Police recovered from the scene a fired deformed slug and a fired cartridge case of a suspected .45 caliber ammunition.

David said it’s possible that the victim knew the gunman.

Police are looking into grudges or personal conflict as possible motives in the incident.

“Nagkaroon sila conflict sa group, nag sipak ni siya sa ila grupo last year,” David said.

He added that the victim had previous threats but did not elaborate to his family.

David said the persons of interest are subject for validation and further investigation.

David said Berito was arrested after police raided his house via search warrant for illegal firearms and ammunition in April 2021.

Aside from that, illegal drugs were also recovered during the said raid in Manapla town, David said.

Berito, however, posted bail and was later released that year, David added.