Poll bet supporter wounded in Iloilo shooting

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A supporter of a candidate for barangay captain was wounded after he was shot after casting his ballot morning of Oct. 30 in Calinog, Iloilo.

Eduardo Leysa Jr, 31, of Barangay Cahigon, Calinog, Iloilo, suffered gunshot injuries on his left thigh.

Prior to the shooting episode, a fracas happened at the polling center in Cahigon Elementary School.

It allegedly stemmed when alleged supporters of barangay captain bet Jinky Caras Lumogdang had a fight with the Catolin family members.

The Catolin family is supporting their re-electionist brother Barangay Kagawad Reynaldo Catolin.

While the Carases and Catolins are cousins, the latter is supporting the candidacy of Hilda Francisco Bataten, who is running against Lumogdang.

Their physical confrontation started when Ariel Catolin, who served as a watcher for his brother Reynaldo, assisted a voter at the polling center.

But a member of the Caras family allegedly snatched the voter.

A melee then ensued between the two groups. Shortly later, a certain Geronimo Gonzales punched and struck Ariel with a chair.

Members of the Caras family allegedly left the polling center to prevent the tension from further escalating.

While on board a Mitsubishi Strada pick-up truck, the group was allegedly waylaid by a certain Larry Catolin who was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Leysa was able to jump out of the vehicle but was hit when the suspect fired his gun.

The victim was rushed to Dr. Ricardo S Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital for treatment while the suspect fled and remains at large, as of press time.

Major Myles Dieron, Calinog police chief, said that six persons were taken to the police station for questioning but they were all released afterward.

Several witnesses have attested that it was Larry who fired the gun.

Meanwhile, Dieron said voting continued at Cahigon Elementary School but the canvassing was transferred to Calinog Elementary School.