Politics eyed in Isabela town mayor’s slay



Police are eyeing politics as the primary motive in the murder of Mayor Erlinda Mora-Domingo of Maconacon, Isabela on Tuesday.

Domingo, who turned 51 on Jan. 19, was shot and killed by gunmen shortly before 8 p.m. on Tuesday outside the Park Ville Apartelle at the corner of Examiner Street and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. Her driver, Bernard Plasos, was also shot and wounded.

Police held two men and a woman for questioning on the attack. They were identified as Christian Pajenado, Michael Domingo and Mary Grace Abduhadi, who were apprehended in separate operations. Abduhadi, arrested in the Salaam Compound in Barangay Culiat, is said to be the wife of the prime suspect, a certain Marsibal Abduhadi, alias Bagwis,” who is still at large.

Likely planned

The suspects reportedly arrived at the apartelle on two motorcycles. After shooting the mayor and the driver, one reportedly ran to a nearby construction site where he was held by the workers and later taken by the police.

Quezon City Police District director Senior Supt. Richard Albano said his men are still investigating the motive behind the attack on the mayor, who died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

“This was likely planned. Possibly, it is related to politics although we are exploring other motives,” he said yesterday.

Senior Supt. Franklin Moises Mabanag, Isabela police director, had similar hunches. “Her opponent was a converted Muslim and one of those arrested was a Maranao, so the strongest lead is politics,” he told the Inquirer. He is coordinating with the Quezon City police in the investigation.

Mabanag said the mayor had received politics-related threats to her life in the past.

Many people in Cauayan, however, have reservations about the initial police theory.

Before entering politics, Domingo managed a business that shipped lobsters and crabs to Manila.



Violence, however, was the reason she became mayor. Domingo assumed Maconacon’s mayoral post in June 2009 when Mayor Francisco Talosig was shot by gunmen in Tuguegarao City. Talosig, a former forester, died four months later in a Cagayan hospital.

Then Vice Mayor Domingo served Talosig’s remaining term. In 2010, she ran and won against the late mayor’s son, Dr. Royle Talosig, and Walter Villanueva.

Domingo, who will now be succeeded by Vice Mayor Jolly Taberner, was seeking reelection in the midterm elections.

She had shunned security escorts when visiting the villages in Maconacon, except for her driver, according to town civil registrar Maria Theresa Oriarte.

“She did not want to have armed escorts. It was not her style,” Oriarte said.

No bodyguards


Maconacon Councilor Valentino Liberato said Domingo’s political allies had encouraged her to petition for two bodyguards for the election campaign. But she declined, saying she had no enemies, according to Liberato.

Maconacon (pop: 3,991, according to a 2007 census) is one of three coastal towns of Isabela that are separated from the mainland by the Sierra Madre range. The three towns are often isolated whenever typhoons hit the province.

When the town was devastated by Typhoon “Juan” in October 2010, Domingo supervised the relief operations.

In previous interviews, Domingo complained about the absence of a coastal road linking them to mainland Isabela as the town has been accessible only by light plane from Cauayan City or Tuguegarao City or by boat that sails to and from Santa Ana town in Cagayan.

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  • Mamang Pulis

    kapag sasadyain ka talaga….kahit saan.

    kumpyansa pa na walang ‘escort’…

    o ano ang total gun ban—masasamang loob na lang meron

    ni hindi nag apply ng para exempted sa comelec gunban, may nakuha ba na baril sa namatay?wala di ba?

    binilot na inquirer pang depensa ha?

    mabibigyan nyo ba ng 24/7 protekta yan mga yan? makukuha ba lahat sa dasal? eh di ba yun mga nagdarasal daw at kapag ginawaan ng action ng nagdarasal ay sya lagi ang tinutulungan ng dinrasalan?

  • Rovingmoron

    If she is armed, alert and wise as a jackal, she can at least get even with the suspects. Look at the jackals, they can survive even with the Lions around them! Besides, she didn’t want to have bodyguards. RIP.

  • Markov Chain

    Cyempre politics. May malaking isdang nagbayad para ipapatay ang mayor. Cyempre may pulis patola ding sabwat dyan. Kaya walang mangyayari sa kasong ito. Ang mga bobong gunmen lamang ang makukulong. Ganyan sa pilipinas.

  • marionics

    Politics eyed in Isabela town mayor’s slay

    ya think!!!!???

  • Mamang Pulis

    o yun mga bleeding hearts doon sa tinamaan ng ligaw na bala—
    bakit tameme kayo ha?ayan o–sinadya!!

  • GaggerAlert

    “Police are eyeing politics as the primary motive in the murder of Mayor Erlinda Mora-Domingo of Maconacon, Isabela on Tuesday.” – no sh*t sherlock. 
    Sometimes, its really insulting to someone’s intellect that something so effing obvious needs to be told. My golly!

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