By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
URBIZTONDO, Pangasinan – The controversial mayor of this 3rd class town and two other persons were waylaid to death by Armalite assault rifle and 9mm handgun wielding gunmen this morning in a commercial building he was constructing.
|The late Urbiztondo Mayor Ernesto Balolong in a controversial photo when he|
was arrested by the members of the National Bureau of Investigation in
November 27, 2013.
“Puro sa dibdib ang tama ni mayor (all the wounds were on the chest of the mayor)”.
He said that around 8:50 of June 7 Balolong, who was with a body guard, was checking the vicinity of his commercial building that is beside his gas station. He said a Toyota Innova car that came from the direction of the public market and traversing the Mabini Street going to the direction of San Carlos City stopped.
“Dalawang lalaki ang bumaba at nilapitan sila mayor, niratrat ng Armalite (Two males disembarked and started to pepper them with bullets)”.
He said the mayor sustained multiple gun shot wounds on his chest and back after a short chase.
In a progress reports sent by Pangasinan Provincial Director Raymond Sterling Blanco to this paper, after the incident Balolong was immediately brought to Elguira Hospital in the nearby San Carlos City and was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA).
“The vehicle, Toyota Innova, colored dark gray with plate number YBG6000 used by the suspects, was recovered at Barangay Caoayan - Kiling, San Carlos City as their gateway vehicle. Police Officer 1 Elision Ulanday and Edmund Meneses, CSI employee were rushed to VMU hospital and pronounced DOA. Rex Ferrer was brought to RHU Ubiztondo for medical treatment. Firearms used by the suspects were alleged M16 and 9mm (hand gun),” Blanco stressed.
The resident explained that the location of the mayor and the three other victims was near the CSI Supermart and near the house of the mayor.
“The mayor was a regular fixture at his gas station and his new building whenever he was not at the municipal hall.
Harold Barcelona, a media man and a friend of Balolong, said that the mayor even in his gas station was armed with a .45 and .9mm caliber pistols he hid on his waistlines.
In a news report from Aksyon Radyo Dagupan City
Balolong was immediately taken to the Elguira General Hospital in San Carlos City. But Dr. Samuel Elguira, hospital owner, said that Balolong was already dead when he arrived in the hospital at about 9:55 a.m.
“He had 27 gunshot wounds, in his chest and his back,” Elguira said in an interview.
Balolong has been a controversial political figure in the province and the country after he was arrested and dragged to a vehicle on November 27, 2013 by officers of the National Bureau of Investigation after he resisted arrest.
The cases filed by the NBI like illegal possession of a cache of powerful weapons and resisting arrest to persons in authority were all dismissed.
MANHUNT: A policeman briefs Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd
District, Pangasinan) on the get-away vehicle of the killers they
abandoned at Brgy. Caoayan-Kiling , San Carlos City.
Bataoil exhorted PNP Regional Director Chief Supt. Roman Felix and
PNP Provincial Director Supt. Raymond Sterling Blanco to leave no
stone's unturned on their investigation. Bataoil asks them to identify and
apprehend the suspect or suspects immediately. Balolong is Bataoil's
constituent and supporter.
He was fingered to be the patron of Otto Guialaludin, alias Boy Muslim, an arrested hired killer, who was fingered to be the one behind the assassination of Lingayen town’s former Vice Mayor Ramon Arcinue and wife Sorayhada in Manila.
His second administrative case of 60 days preventive suspension stemmed when he signed into law an appropriation ordinance giving an allocation of P8, 441, 35.59 to the Philippine Natonal Bank in August 2013 despite the rejection of the provincial board of the appropriation in this town’s 2013 budget as an amortization to the bank.
But just like the first 60 days preventive suspension, the Office of the President overturned the decision of the Provincial Board.
In his first and second administrative cases he was charged by his former treasurer Loida Cancino whom he had acrimonious spat before and whom he asked to be relieved and is now assigned at the provincial treasurer’s office.
In a span of few days that he was suspended, Vice Mayor Martin Raul Sison replaced Balolong as mayor in an acting capacity.
But Balolong disputed the substitution of Sison saying he was illegally suspended by the board.
Sison and his mother were political rivals of the Balolongs in the May 2013 municipal election.
Balolong was pitted with Martin’s mother, while Martin and Merle, the wife of Balolong, contested the vice mayoralty post.
Balolong won but his wife lost in that contest.
The late mayor, a party mate of President Benigno C. Aquino III is known to have a close ties with the latter.
He narrated in this paper before that he used to work in the security agency of President Aquino as one of its supervisors in the late 1980s.