Friday, June 6, 2014

P’sinan’s Mayor Balolong , 2 others Waylaid to Death


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.
A resident of this town, who asked not to be named, said he saw the sprawled lifeless bodies of Mayor Ernesto Balolong, his police body guard, and an employee of the branch here of CSI Supermart while a taho  (soya drink) vendor was wounded.
“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.

1 comment:

  1. Pangasinan town mayor shot dead
    By Eva Visperas (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 8, 2014 - 12:00am
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    Scene of the crime operatives inspect the area where Urbiztondo Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr. (inset) was gunned down yesterday morning. CESAR RAMIREZ
    URBIZTONDO, Pangasinan, Philippines – This town’s mayor was gunned down by two unidentified men yesterday, on the eve of twin celebrations in his family – his wedding anniversary and the marriage of his councilor-son.

    Two others were killed in the attack on Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr., a police security aide and a bystander, while three more were wounded.

    Balolong, his bodyguard PO1 Eliseo Ulanday and bystander Edmund Meneses died from multiple gunshot wounds.

    Jose Vejella, a supermarket stockman, Rex Ferrer, and Rogelio Esguerra, a taho (soy curd) vendor, were also hit during the attack. They were brought to a nearby hospital and declared in stable condition.

    Balolong was reportedly buying taho from Esguerra near a bus terminal in Barangay Poblacion when the two gunmen approached him and opened fire at close range.

    Balolong was on his way to the Urbiztondo Hotel and Convention Center to check on preparations for his 15th wedding anniversary celebration today when he was fired upon with automatic weapons. The gunmen fled in a van toward San Carlos City.

    Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
    A witness recalled seeing the two assailants, armed with an M-16 assault rifle and a 9-mm automatic, alighting from a dark gray Toyota Innova van parked nearby.

    Police later found the getaway vehicle abandoned in Barangay Cauayan Kiling, San Carlos City.

    The police are investigating the incident but The STAR learned that Balolong had been receiving death threats.

    Two hours before his murder, The STAR talked to him by phone and he repeated his invitation to attend his wedding anniversary celebration.

    The celebration would also have been the wedding of his eldest son, Councilor Volter Balolong, to Angela Arce.

    In a chance meeting last Wednesday in a mall in Dagupan City where he was shopping with his five-year-old son and some companions, Balolong told The STAR he had no plans of filing counter charges against those behind the administrative cases against him at the provincial board.

    Balolong, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, was ordered suspended by the provincial board last March but Malacañang issued a stay order pending appeal of his administrative case.

    In 2012, Balolong was also ordered suspended by the provincial board for a spate of administrative cases but Malacañang lifted his suspension.

    Balolong faced four administrative cases involving a loan taken out by the town and allegedly unpaid monthly premiums of municipal employees in the Government Service Insurance System, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG Fund.

    Balolong said the charges were political harassment, and that records would show that these were all fabrications.

    In November last year, agents of National Bureau of Investigation raided his residence, piggery and farmhouses and confiscated at least 21 firearms. These, however, were found to be licensed, except for an M-16 and M-14 rifles that were the subject of alleged tampering.

    Balolong admitted buying them as loose firearms but had them licensed under the government’s firearms amnesty program.

    Balolong was also implicated in the killing of former Lingayen vice mayor Ramon Arcinue and his wife Zorahayda in Manila 2012. No case though was filed against him in connection with the couple’s killing. – With Mike Frialde