Tanod commander survives slay try

By: Jennifer P. Rendon 

Riding-in-tandem gunmen struck anew in Iloilo City.

But unlike previous incidents, their target, 46-year old Limuel Villaruel alias Jun of Zone 2, Barangay San Juan, Molo district, survived the attack.

Villaruel is San Juan village’s tanod commander and had no link with illegal drugs, contrary to the usual targets.

But Police Major Engilbert Banquillo, Molo police chief, claimed that the victim’s elder brother Leo was arrested in 2016 for an illegal drugs case.

He was detained at the Iloilo District Jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan, Iloilo, but was released recently after he entered into a plea bargaining agreement.

Villaruel was hit on the right side of the body, shoulder, and arm.

He was brought to Iloilo Doctors’ Hospital for treatment.

Witnesses claimed to have heard four gun fires.

Another resident, 50-year old Angelyn Rebote, was hit with a stray bullet on her leg.

She was rushed to Western Visayas Medical Center.

After the initial burst of gunfire, the suspects fled only to learn that they were heading to a dead end.

At that time, the wounded Villaruel recovered and fired his gun at the suspect.

The driver maneuvered the motorcycle while the backrider alighted and provided cover fire until they were able to completely flee.

Banquillo said it appeared that Villaruel failed to hit his assailants.

Banquillo said they are considering mistaken identity as one of the motives of the incident.

“We’re not discounting the possibility that Leo could be the real target,” he said.

Recently, Villaruel reported to the police he was being threatened.

“That’s what we’re trying to dig up now,” Banquillo said.

As of this writing, police investigators have yet to talk to Villaruel who underwent surgery.