By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
CALASIAO , Pangasinan – Policemen arrested recently here an alleged hit man after he and his two companions shot a village chief and two of his body guards as they were buying fruits in the public market.
Arnulfo E. Calaunan, an acknowledged citizen of the United States, was found by a team of SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) of Dagupan City hiding in a prone position on a wet grassy area at the back of the mansion of Sta. Barbara Mayor Carlito Zaplan in Barangay Gabon here.
SWAT. The Dagupan City SWAT Team sent by Superintendent
Christopher Abrajano to augment the policemen in Calasiao to run
after gun men who shot a village chief and killed one of his
Mesina, who was shot at the right side of his body, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of Villaflor Hospital in Dagupan City while one of his two body guards who watched him buys bananas and lansonez near the puto (white cake) stalls here was hit at the head that resulted for his instantaneous death.
The other closed- in who was hit on the foot was able to scamper and hide in one of the puto stalls. A girl who was in one of the white cake stalls was hit too but later pronounced by doctor to be out of danger.
Police source who asked anonymity said the suspect arrived in the Philippines in August this year and was found to have in his wallet a plane ticket to the United States with a departure date of November 4 this year.
The other document found on his wallet was the photo of spouses Mesina that he took from the Face Book account of the village chief.
“He said he was monitoring the movements of Mesina since August. He was remorseless of what he has done to the barangay chairman and his companions,” the source said.
|Blood stains left by the wounded Brgy Chairman|
The incident, where the police were seen frantically searching for gunmen at each stalls, was seen on television as media men have just emerged from the church where the peace covenant was held.
But the suspect insisted he carried the dastardly act alone against the trio when he coincidentally saw them buy fruits after they disembarked from Mesina’s van.
|Police Superintendent Noel Vallo, the town's chief of police, instructs|
the SWAT how to pursue the suspects who traded gunfire with
the police in Sitio Pandayan.
But police investigators did not buy his pronouncements. One of them said it would be impossible to shoot Mesina and not being shot by the two bodyguards who were seven to 10 meters away from him.
Last December 2012, the father of Mesina, Antonio,59, a retiring Examiner of Revenue District Office-4 of the Bureau of Internal Revenue based here was ambushed and killed by riders in tandem in Brgy Lasip this town as he was bound for home. Calaunan denied he has a hand in the killing of the older Mesina.
“Talagang planado na niya ang pagpatay sa mga kalaban nila,” Superintendent Noel B. Vallo Sr, the Chief of Police here, said on TV.
The police suspected he was planning to assassinate Mesina because he concealed his arrival from his village mates and relatives.
Vallo downplayed the incident here as not election related since Mesina run unopposed for the village chairmanship but as a result of intense family feud that snapped already some lives between the two parties.
|The SWAT team leader at the left was the one|
who saw Calaunan hiding in a grassy area
after his team combed meticulously the place.
|A dead body guard of Mesina|
Police men in a running rampage after gun men shoot it
out with each other at the Calasiao public market.
Meanwhile, Pangasinan Police Provincial Office Director Marlou Chan said the PNP has been investigating the documents seized on the wallets of the body guards of Mesina.
He said the police are checking if they are members of the military or police since guns have been seized from them.
“They do not have exemption to carry guns from the Comelec and Mesina did not apply for security protection with the PNP,” Chan said.