Sara shooting suspect arrested

THE motorcycle used in the shooting of Punong Barangay Ronnie Dorde of Preciosa, Sara, Iloilo at around 2 p.m. of May 11, 2019. (Contributed photos)

One of the suspects in the shooting of a punong barangay (village chief) in Sara, Iloilo afternoon of May 11, 2019 was arrested a day after the incident.

Based on initial reports from Sara, military soldiers arrested Edgar Somera at Poblacion, Sara at around 5 p.m. Sunday.

Somera is believed to be part of the group that shot Punong Barangay Ronnie Dorde of Preciosa, Sara at around 2 p.m. Saturday.

Additional reports also indicated that Somera was onboard a pickup owned by a certain Deoly Villanueva, a candidate for Sangguniang Bayan member under the group of retired general and mayoral bet Jon Aying.

Aying is identified with the camp of gubernatorial bet Arthur Defensor Jr.

Villanueva’s name also appeared in a sticker glued to one of the motorcycles allegedly used in Dorde’s shooting.

Witnesses to the shooting have pointed to Somera as part of the four persons who attacked Dorde.

Official police account said Dorde tried to stop Somera and company from campaigning in Preciosa but witnesses claimed that the suspects were buying votes in the village, the reason why the village chief confronted them.

The confrontation led to a scuffle between Dorde and the suspects until one of them drew a gun and shot the village official twice on the abdomen.

Witnesses pointed to Somera as the actual gunman but police have yet to establish his actual participation as of this writing.

Dorde was brought to Sara District Hospital and was later referred to a hospital in Iloilo City for treatment.

Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao, Western Visayas police chief, said the attack on Dorde is considered an election-related violent incident.

Immediately after the incident, a manhunt operation was ordered to hunt down the four suspects.

Members of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RFMB), the Iloilo Police Provincial Office – Provincial Mobile Force Company, and the Sara Police Station are part of the manhunt team. (With a report from Jennifer Ponsaran Rendon)