Kagawad gunned down in front of family

Scene of the Crime Operatives check the body of a barangay official who was gunned down by unidentified armed persons at his house in Barangay Cambayobo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Calatrava Municipal Police Station)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Police are not discounting the possibility that the killing of a barangay official in Barangay Cambayobo, Calatrava, Negros Occidental on Wednesday night may be insurgency-related.

The victim was identified as Kagawad Benito Hubahib.

Police Captain Jesus Alba, deputy chief of Calatrava Municipal Police Station, said three unidentified armed persons went to Hubahib’s house and introduced themselves as law enforcers.

When Hubahib opened the door, the perpetrators asked for his identification card.

But when he refused, they allegedly shot him in front of his family and fled along with their other companions, according to Alba.

Police recovered from the scene a casing of alleged .45-caliber ammunition and three fired bullets from an M16 rifle.

Alba said they are looking into retaliation as a possible motive for the incident since Hubahib stood as a witness in the marking of evidence during the arrest of a high-ranking official in the town last month.

Alba also said that the victim was active in the campaign of the government against the insurgency.

Alba said they are also probing the possible link of this incident to the case of a farmer who was also gunned down in Barangay Minautok last Monday, Feb. 20.

Arnie Casipong, 40, of the said village, was killed inside his house which was witnessed by his family, according to Alba.

Recovered by police from the scene were a cartridge case and a deformed slug of alleged .45-caliber ammunition, and a fired cartridge case of 5.56 mm ammunition.

Alba said that the manner of Casipong’s death is similar to the case of Hubahib. Thus, they are also considering that Casipong’s death may be insurgency-related.

Alba said the two villages are considered Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) infiltrated areas, as there were reported sightings of armed men.

Aside from the said angle, Alba said that Casipong had a record in the barangay when he allegedly shot the dog of his neighbor in December 2022.

He (Casipong) was also reported for his behavior whenever he’s drunk, he added.