Former Tour champ shot dead in Pangasinan
DAGUPAN CITY—Former Marlboro Tour champion Pepito Calip was shot dead on Monday (Mar. 19) in front of his house in Binalonan town in Pangasinan province, a belated police report said on Wednesday (Mar. 21).
Calip, 61, was having a conversation with a neighbor outside the gate of his house in Barangay (Village) Limmansangan in Binalonan at 6:35 a.m. when he was attacked by two unidentified men, said PO2 Heribert Plares, Binalonan police investigator.
Calip, a retired policeman, was shot twice in his stomach. He died while being treated in a hospital in Urdaneta City.
Plares said investigators were still trying to establish the motive of the attack and the identities of the gunmen, who fled in a getaway vehicle.
Three-time Tour champion Jesus Garcia Jr., who learned of Calip’s death on Wednesday, said he was saddened by the incident.
“He was like a brother to me,” said Garcia.
Calip clinched the Tour crown in 1985, making him the 13th Pangasinense to win the annual cycling race.
Garcia said Calip still holds the record of being the fastest cyclist to pedal from Barangay Saitan in Rosario town, La Union province to Burnham Park in Baguio City via Kennon Road in 1985.
“He and his town mate, 1975 Tour champion Samson Etrata, inspired younger cyclists of their time, enabling Pangasinan to produce more cycling champions in the succeeding years,” said Garcia.
Garcia said that since 1957, Pangasinan has produced 20 cycling champions, including Ronald Oranza, who just won the recently concluded Ronda Pilipinas.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.