Brains in Eriguel slay ‘known to the people’
AGOO, La Union — More than 1,000 Agoo residents took to the streets here on Sunday to condemn the May 12 murder of former La Union Rep. Eufranio Eriguel and three other people, with some saying townsfolk knew who masterminded the killing.
The residents, wearing white shirts, marched around 8 a.m. from Eriguel’s house to the town hall, where they prayed and lighted candles.
Eriguel was killed by nine armed men who stormed a Sangguniang Kabataan meeting in the village of Capas here.
The men opened fire using automatic weapons, killing Eriguel and two of his aides, Bobby Ordinario and Mac Roel Tuvera.
On May 16, Patrick Manabat, an Eriguel supporter, died after four days of treatment in a hospital. Seven others were wounded in the attack.
Hours after the attack, police arrested Felizardo Villanueva, 67, a losing candidate for village chief in Capas, who allegedly gave to the killers the location of Eriguel based on an exchange of text messages found in his mobile phone.
Police said 1,200 to 1,500 residents joined the prayer rally.
“What they did was brutal,” said Rolando Rivera, a former provincial board member. “He was a good man,” he said.
Rivera said he believed Villanueva was not the mastermind. The brains behind the murder, Rivera said, “is known to the people here.”
Unless the mastermind was arrested, the people of Agoo would continue to fight for justice, Rivera said.
The Eriguel family scheduled a news conference on May 22 and did not issue a statement after the prayer rally. But they said they believed Villanueva was just a “lookout.”
The new Agoo police chief, Chief Insp. Bernabe Oribello, was tasked to help in the investigation.
Police also installed a new La Union police director, Senior Supt. Adolfo Rafanan, on May 19.
Police are now securing the Eriguel family.
Policemen had secured Eriguel’s wife and her daughter, Agoo Mayor Stefanie Ann Eriguel, but they were recalled last year. —Gabriel Cardinoza