Village head kills council member at victim’s birthday party

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KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato—A village council member  in Tulunan, North Cotabato, who was celebrating his 61st birthday on Thursday  died after being shot by his village’s head around 7 p.m., the police said.

Senior Inspector Ronnie Cordero, Tulunan police chief, said Federico Supat died from a lone gunshot wound on the chest inflicted by Gilberto Espelita, the barangay chair of Damawato during a heated argument.

Earlier in the day, Cordero said, Supat attended the regular session of the village council, during which he informed his colleagues and Espelita about his birthday and the celebration later in the day.

“Supat’s colleagues and Espelita later arrived at the victim’s house and there they consumed food and alcohol,” Cordero said.

At the height of the celebration, Cordero said, Espelita suddenly got irritated and went home to get a handgun.

When the village chief returned, he fired two shots in the air before firing another one at Supat, Cordero said.

The victim died there and then, Cordero said, quoting police investigation report.

“Our investigation is not limited to personal motive because we are also trying to consider the upcoming synchronized SK and barangay elections as other possibilities,” Cordero said.

Espelita has surrendered and is now being investigated, the police chief added.

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