Cops name gunman in Bohol mayor’s slay
TAGBILARAN CITY — A man who the police said was involved in the 2014 assassination attempt on Mayor Ronald Tirol of Buenavista, Bohol province, was identified as among the three suspects who shot and killed the mayor in a cockpit arena in his town on Sunday.
Police said Elmer “Eti” Melencion, identified by witnesses as the gunman who attacked Tirol, 38, was the same gunman who tried to kill the mayor four years ago inside another cockpit in Clarin town, said Chief Insp. Rully Lauron, chief of the Buenavista police.
The bullet only grazed the mayor then, Lauron said.
During Sunday’s attack, police said one of the bullets hit Tirol in the forehead.
The mayor died while being taken to Francisco Dagohoy Municipal Hospital in Inabanga town.
Senior Supt. Angeles Geñorga, Bohol provincial police director, said they were looking into politics, business deals and personal grudge as among the possible motives in the killing of Tirol, a scion of a political family in Bohol.
He said Tirol had received death threats before the attack.
Geñorga said investigators from the special investigation task group, called “Task Force Tirol,” had information that could lead to the identities of Melencion’s two companions, who served as backup.
Tirol, a bachelor, was inside the cockpit arena that he owned when one of the three suspects approached and repeatedly fired at him at 3 p.m.
Boy Pernia, chief of staff of Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s second district, said Tirol was supposed to attend a meeting on Sunday with other second district mayors with
Aumentado. Tirol did not attend the meeting and instead sent a representative.
Tirol, who served as mayor for two terms, was the son of the late Buenavista Mayor Leandro Tirol and former Buenavista Mayor Elsa Tirol.
Aumentado, who described Tirol as a “dear friend,” condemned the mayor’s murder.
“Violence has no place in modern society, especially amid our campaign for peace in the province,” Aumentado said in a statement.
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