Mayor wanted for slay surfaces for birthday
SAN RAFAEL, Bulacan—The town mayor, who has been charged with the murder of a police officer, surfaced here on Wednesday to attend his 52nd birthday party at the municipal hall after 21 days of hiding.
Mayor Cipriano Violago and four other people are facing murder charges in connection with the killing of PO3 Rafael Bartolome, a member of the Malolos police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
Bartolome was shot by motorcycle-riding men inside Lapid’s Ville subdivision in Barangay Tambubong in May last year.
Judge Corazon Domingo-Ranola, of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court, ordered Violago’s arrest, along with his suspected accomplices—Vergel de la Rosa Liquino, Nicolas Mangaluz, Joel Mangaluz and Tristan Cruz IV. The mayor, however, won a 60-day temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals against the arrest warrant.
Violago, former Bulacan vice governor, had reported for work on July 1 and kept reporting for work for several days. He disappeared again on July 10 when the TRO lapsed.
Violago told reporters during the birthday party that he has been working in absentia.
“I have someone bring me paperwork that needed signing, and I give instructions over the telephone,” he said.
He denied involvement in Bartolome’s murder. Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon