Bet for village chief gunned down

(UPDATE) A CANDIDATE for barangay captain was shot and killed shortly after he spoke during a campaign sortie in Pangasinan Sunday night.

Maj. Mark Ryan Taminaya, Aguilar town police chief, identified the candidate as Arnel Adolfo Flormata, 41, an administrative supervisor at the Aboitiz Solar Services.

Taminaya said Flormata was shot by a lone gunman as he walked to his vehicle to change his shirt after making a campaign speech in Sitio Casagatan, Barangay Bayaoas, at 11:05 p.m.

The gunman fled on a tricycle driven by an accomplice.

Flormata had a gunshot wound in the head. He was taken to a private hospital in Barangay Umangan in Mangatarem, where he was pronounced dead.

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“We cannot say yet that it was an election-related incident,” Taminaya said in a telephone interview.

He said police investigators are looking at all angles to establish the motive for the shooting.

Taminaya said Flormata’s village was not among the hot spots in Pangasinan in this year’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).

“I was surprised because this town has no history of violent elections,” he said.

Police said only three of the 1,364 barangay in Pangasinan are being closely watched in connection with the combined elections on October 30.

Col. Jeff Fanged, Pangasinan police chief, said the villages are in the towns of Asingan, San Quintin and Burgos.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office said 57,746 candidates in the province are running in the BSKE.

There are 3,593 candidates for punong barangay, 28,580 for kagawad, 3,878 for SK chairman and 21,706 for SK kagawad.

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