PNP tags Ilocos Norte mayor mastermind in ex-mayor’s slay

>> Saturday, July 29, 2017

MARCOS, Ilocos Norte -- Police named Mayor Jessie Ermitanio of this town as the mastermind in the killing of former mayor Arsenio Agustin last June 3.
Ermitanio was identified by alleged hitman Bernie Lazo, alias Alex Vergara, as the one who paid P150,000 to have Agustin killed.   
Agustin, 61, was shot dead after inspecting a small water impounding project in Barangay Mabuti last month.
His companion, backhoe operator Mark Valencia, was also shot and died later in a hospital.
As then vice mayor, Ermitanio replaced Agustin.
But this was cut short after the police raided his house in Barangay Lydia Thursday and found a cache of firearms that included three M-16 rifles, three .45 caliber pistols, an AK-47 rifle and several gun implements and ammunitions, said Chief Insp. Dexter Corpuz,  Ilocos Norte police spokesman.
Corpuz said a raid on Lazo’s house in Barangay 16 three days ago yielded a Cal.45 pistol with silencer, a hand grenade and a piece of paper with three contact numbers.
He refused to confirm that the listed numbers were those of Ermitanio, who survived an ambush in Barangay Ragas on April 4.
The ambush led to the death of his driver and the wounding of two others.
Aside from the mayor, police arrested suspects Argie dela Paz and Joseph Datu. Their involvement could not be ascertained at press time.


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