Mayor claims two groups hired to kill him; CIDG confirms threat

Pres. Roxas Mayor Receliste Escolin

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

If plans against him are not deflected, Mayor Receliste “Tanoy” Escolin of President Roxas, Capiz claimed he could be the next Governor Roel Degamo.

On Saturday, Escolin bared that a hefty bounty was available to anyone who would kill him.

At least two groups were commissioned to do the hit, he added.

One group allegedly asked for P2 million once the assassination succeeds. But the “mastermind” haggled the amount to P1.8 million.

Escolin said the “mastermind” is also from Pres. Roxas but did not elaborate.

It appeared that the motive could be “work-related.”

The other group, meanwhile, asked for a lesser contract price.

Escolin said he confirmed the plan after a gun-for-hire contracted to kill him was arrested in a police operation in Iloilo.

The local chief executive was apparently referring to 46-year-old Ritz Develos, who was arrested in a firearm raid on his newly-constructed home in Barangay Bancal, Carles town on April 26.

Members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Iloilo Field Unit and Carles Municipal Police Station arrested Develos following a search and seizure operation at his house.

The search warrant was for violations of Republic Act 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and RA 9516 or illegal possession of explosives.

A native of Passi City, Iloilo, the suspect had been staying in Carles because it was his live-in partner’s hometown.

Several days after his arrest, Develos squealed that his group was contracted to assassinate Escolin.

In a radio interview, Escolin said he was aware of the threats on his life.

“Those are threats that are not sent through text messages or chats,” he said in the vernacular.

Instead, Escolin said the threats were relayed to him by concerned individuals.

He added that the Pres. Roxas Municipal Police Station got wind of the report.

But Escolin said he was disappointed because the report was not forwarded to the “province.”

By province, the mayor could be referring to the Capiz Police Provincial Office (CPPO).

“Kay wala man kuno na blotter,” Escolin said.

He also made mention that the “region,” or the Police Regional Office (PRO) 6, was in fact surprised after learning of Escolin’s death threats.

As reports on the threats against his life became persistent, Escolin said he was forced to limit his public engagements.

Meanwhile, the Capiz PPO has reportedly explained to the PRO-6 hierarchy that Escolin has been provided enough security when he has official engagements.

Plainclothes policemen were also deployed to secure him.

Still, Colonel Jerome Afuyog Jr, Capiz police chief, said he has directed intelligence operatives to look into the matter.


The CIDG-Iloilo confirmed on Sunday, May 14, that the threat against Escolin is real.

Lieutenant Colonel Julius Jacinto, CIDG-Iloilo chief, said that even before they arrested Develos, they already received information about his involvement in a criminal group.

“We knew that the target was involved in the robbery hold-up at Roxas City,” he said.

The broad daylight highway robbery in Roxas City, Capiz happened on Dec. 12, 2022.

But Develor was not one of the suspects charged by authorities.

Two persons were wounded and a cash of P1.5 million was taken during the incident.

“He was the subject of our case build-up,” he said.

It didn’t take long for Develos to admit that his group was hired to kill Escolin.

“Pero inilalayo niya ang sarili niya sa plano. Pinapalabas niya na kasama siya sa grupo pero hindi kasama sa nabayaran para kay Mayor Escolin. But we believe that he’s part of the group that was tasked to take the hit,” Jacinto said,

Develos showed police several video recordings of what appeared to be meetings of the group while at a safe house.

The video showed what appeared to be plans on how to carry out the assassination.

The CIDG also learned that the group has contacted a local group to assist them in the kill plot.

“Hindi naman kasi sila puwedeng basta pumasok sa isang area na hindi nila teritoryo ng walang coordination,” he said.

Jacinto said the videos mentioned men from the towns of Janiuay, Estancia, and Carles in Iloilo that would operate against Escolin.

In the same interview with the mayor, he even made mention that the group could be into illegal drugs.

“That could also be one of the reasons why they accepted the offer,” he said.

Jacinto confirmed that there were already several attempts to kill Escolin but the assassins have failed to make it to the first base.

It was gathered that Escolin personally talked to Develos on May 10 at the CIDG office where the latter is in custody.

For now, Jacinto said they’re trying to track down those personalities seen in Develos’ videos.