The son of Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino alleged in an interview today that his father was killed on purpose by cops, contrary to the statement of the Philippine National Police that the local chief executive was caught in a shootout.
Mark Aquino, the mayor’s eldest son, told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo that his father’s body was riddled with 21 bullets. Mayor Aquino was driving with his entourage and was on his way to attend Mark’s birthday when the alleged ambush occurred.
Philippine National Police chief General Debold Sinas alleged that the mayor’s escorts shot the policemen first, and that the authorities merely defended themselves. Sinas said that the cops were just passing by the area, and the mayor’s escorts didn’t know that they were cops. But Mark said there was something amiss about his father’s case.
“My papa’s friend told me, because I couldn’t read the results of the autopsy, he said he counted, half of my father’s body was shot 21 times,” Mark said in English and Filipino.
A witness told him that his father’s vehicle was rammed from behind, and the assailants disembarked from two vehicles.
“There were three waves in my papa’s killing. First, there were four people who shot him. And when they ran out of bullets, they changed their mags. Then three people shot after them,” Mark said.
Villagers spotted one of the vehicles used by the gunmen at the crime scene days before the mayor’s killing, Mark said.
“They were probably studying the area where the mayor would pass by every day,” he said.
He also alleged that the cops who killed his father were wearing bonnets. One of the assailants even peeked inside the mayor’s vehicle and said, “It’s done. He’s dead.”
“That means they knew it was the mayor. They were done, he’s dead. That means their killing of the mayor was intentional,” Mark said.
“That’s what I’m wondering. If it was a legitimate operation, what were those cops doing before the mayor drove by? Why did they hide when the cops who responded have arrived?” Mark said.
Mayor Aquino was on his third and last term as the city’s mayor. He first ascended to his position in 2011 when then-mayor Reynaldo Uy was killed by unknown gunmen while attending a fiesta in Samar. Aquino, who was Uy’s vice mayor, succeeded the slain politician. Vice Mayor Diego Rivera is expected to become the new mayor of Calbayog.
A task force has been set up to investigate Mayor Aquino’s death, the 25th killing of a local chief executive since President Rodrigo Duterte was elected in 2016.
This article, Calbayog City mayor Aquino may have been killed intentionally, says son, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.