Cop killed as losing bet sets Comelec office on fire in Iligan City | Inquirer News
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Cop killed as losing bet sets Comelec office on fire in Iligan City

/ 05:34 PM October 30, 2013

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines — A police officer assigned as part of the security team for election officials here was killed after a man who allegedly resented his defeat in Monday’s race for the village chairman of Barangay Rogongon, set the local office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on fire, early morning Wednesday.

Senior Inspector Rommel Villafuerte, city fire marshall, said Police Officer 1 Rey Borinaga was trapped in the two-hour fire that hit the Comelec office here starting 2:15 a.m.

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Villafuerte said the suspect, Lumboy Conto of Barangay Rogongon, was immediately arrested.

He said Conto had admitted lobbing a molotov bomb into the Comelec office and claimed his two other brothers were with him.

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The fire immediately gobbled up the building and nearby stalls of sidewalk vendors, he said.

He estimated the damage to property at about P800,000, which included the worth of equipment razed by the fire.

Annaliza Barrido, city election officer, said Borinaga had been sleeping alone inside the office to secure election documents and computers used in Monday’s poll.

Borinaga, who would have turned 34 on Wednesday and  even had an advance birthday celebration inside the Comelec office on Tuesday evening because his duty would have ended at 9 a.m. the following day, Barrido said.

Asked about Conto’s claim he was a defeated candidate, Barrido said she was still verifying that information because all the local Comelec’s records in relation to the recently concluded polls had burned along with the computers and other equipment.

Inspector Robert Delos Reyes of the city police office said Conto was temporarily being held at the police holding office, as of Wednesday, while an arson case was being prepared against him.

He said the police were also investigating the suspect’s claim that he had his two brothers with him when he threw the molotov bomb that started the Comelec fire.

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Conto told reporters he got mad at Comelec officials because he did not win as chairman of his village.

Reyes said the police were also thinking of having Conto undergo a psychiatric test to determine if he was sane or not.

In Digos City, the police said the barangay tanod (village watchman) injured in the pre-election shooting and explosion that targeted the village hall in Barangay Matti there had died of complications at the hospital he was being treated in.

Superintendent Querubin Manalang, city police chief, said Larry Remios succumbed to his wounds Tuesday.

The attack on the village hall took place at around the same time several men attempted to burn a school building in barangays Zone 3 and San Jose, also in Digos.

Manalang said the attacks were election-related.

Shortly before polling precincts opened on Monday, armed men also lobbed a fragmentation grenade on the house of Davao del Sur provincial prosecutor Artemio Tajon, a known supporter of the proposal to divide Davao del Sur and for the creation of the second province of Davao Occidental.

Tajon, who has survived the grenade attack with his family – also had an earlier brush with some politicians, who forced the resignation of members of the board of the Davao del Sur Electric Coop., to which, he was a member of so they can be replaced with their own men.

The police said they were considering all angles in the attack on Tajon, including his work as government prosecutor, but could not make conclusion if it was politically motivated or not.

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