By Richard Falcatan, VERA Files
ISABELA CITY—The election officer here was killed on his way home from supervising the special registration of persons with disabilities (PWD) held nationwide on Saturday.
Daryll Kinazo, 45, Commission on Elections Officer of Isabela City, was on board his motorcycle and was on his way home to Barangay Balobo in Lamitan City when two men riding in tandem shot him several times at 3 p.m. along the highway of Barangay Baluno.
Kinazo had come from the Isabela City gym where Comelec registered 16 of the 300 estimated PWDs in the city.
Saturday's nationwide special registration for PWDs was originally set July 21 but was cancelled to give way to the new voters' listup in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Superintendent Allan Nazaro, police chief of this city, said spent shells from at least two magazines of a .45 caliber gun were recovered from the scene of the crime, an area planted to rubber trees and known to be an ambush and rape zone because it is far from any military or police detachment.
Kinazo was rushed to the Basilan General Hospital and was supposed to be transferred to Zamboanga City for further medical treatment but died on the speedboat.
Basilan, an island province, is around two to three hours by boat from Zamboanga City.
Army Col. Romy Yogyog, commanding officer of Task Force Basilan, said the murder of Kinazo appears to be the beginning of pre-election violence in the province.
Basilan is an identified hotspot because of the high incidence of election-related violence.
Because of the recent incident, Comelec will be requesting for security escorts, which was provided to them last elections, said Provincial Election Supervisor Roberto dela Pena.
Isabela City is part of Region IX or the Zamboanga Peninsula; the rest of Basilan is under ARMM.
(VERA Files is put out by senior journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for true.)