Pangasinan town mayor shot dead

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DAGUPAN CITY—Mayor Ruperto Martinez of Infanta town was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding gunmen at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, hours after a rally that was mounted by residents who are objecting to a local infrastructure project.

Senior Superintendent Mariano Luis Verzosa, Pangasinan police director, said Martinez was shot in the head and neck by his assassins in front of his house at Barangay Cato in Infanta.

His attackers fled toward nearby Dansol town, witnesses said.

The murder took place about five hours after a rally by some 500 residents, who objected to a proposed expansion of a pier in the town.

The residents said the mayor allowed the project to proceed, not heeding their fears that it would be used to haul nickel from Zambales.

Police could not immediately provide details on the killing of Martinez but Pangasinan is one of several provinces tagged by the Department of Interior and Local Government as an election area of concern.

Election hot spots are usually placed under the control of the Commission on Elections, which gives the poll body full supervision and control of the local police for the duration of the election period.

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas has cited intense political rivalries in Pangasinan as among the reasons that the province was tagged as a hot spot along with Cavite and Batangas.

Elections in the local level are often the most violent in the country’s history. Candidates for mayors and other local government positions are often targets of assassinations and harassment.

Martinez was an ally of Governor Amado Espino Jr., who was accused of controlling “jueteng” operations in the province and who is now facing plunder charges filed by Mayor Rodrigo Orduña of Bugallon town.

Martinez was serving his last term as Infanta mayor. He intended to run for vice mayor under the Nationalist People’s Coalition in next year’s elections. Gabriel Cardinoza and Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    Hindi lang diyan sa Infanta mainit at may mga private army, diyan din sa asingan, san manuel meron din diyan at namamatay yung mga nagbabalak pa lang na hamunin ang mga malalaking tao diyan sa politika!

  • indiosbravos2002

    Bat ba feeling ko di matino yong provimcial commander dito sa Pangasinan. May jueteng na, msy political killings pa.

    • kalikasanipagtanggol

       provincial director din siguro!

  • beerhunters

    “the man with the gun is the master”

  • marcos_hitler_diktador_tuta

    Laganap po ang krimen dito sa Infanta, Pangasinan dahil ang mga kapulisan dito ay pabaya. Ang mga tulak ng drugs ay naglilipana lang. Parte kasi ito ng distrito ni Boying Celeste at ng kanyang kapatid na si Arthur na hinihinalang drug lords.

    Hindi lang dapat ilipat si P/S Versoza kundi tanggalin sa pagka-pulis. Mayaman na po talaga siguro ito.

  • batangpaslit

    delikado
    diba mayor din ng isang bayan ng Pangasinan ang whistleblower ng Jueteng
    delikado

  • Rovingmoron

    To make it appear that opponents of Espino did it? Or it could be the NPA hitmen?

    • marcos_hitler_diktador_tuta

      In most likelihhod it is related to mining which is a recent issue here in this place. To kill Mayor Martinez is a political blunder on part of NPA ksi he is popular among the poor.

  • avmphil

    Sad this wanton murder keeps popping up again and again all over the country. Perhaps the mayor could have heeded the “peoples” objections and find a solution. Surely there is a hidden agenda for the “go-ahead”. No matter how this murder is looked upon, a killing is a killing. The system must bring back the mandatory death penalty to curb these kind of barbarous crimes.

  • iping2sison

    Anto la natan, Pangasinenses? Aga napanpiyaan iray opisyales ta asileng lara ed poder tan cuarta. No saray anak nen sarayan opisyales et pinakan na tinakew, mantakew ira no bilbilang aca puesto ed gobyerno.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SOV3OM6BZFBWS7XL6EMTSZGOL4 Janelyn

    Provincial Director VERSOZA, nandiyan ka pa? Andami na nangyayari na di kagandahan sa hawak mo na probinsiya. Parang bulag, pipi at bingi langang mga  amo mo na nasa Crame, di ka pa nasisibak? Abay magbalot balot ka na at di ka na epektibo diyan. 

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