Politics, business eyed in town mayor’s slay

>> Sunday, July 8, 2018

By Aaron Recuenco

GENERAL TINIO, Nueva Ecija --  Police are looking into local politics and quarrying as the possible motives behind the assassination of Mayor Ferdinand Bote of this town who was gunned down in Cabanatuan City on Tuesday.
Investigation revealed that Bote had never been included in the so-called narcolist of President Duterte—which is usually the motive being pointed to in the killings of some local chief executives in the country.
Chief Supt. Amador Corpuz, director of the Central Luzon regional police, said they have already created a special investigation team in order to expedite the solution of the murder of Bote.
“Based on the initial investigation of our investigating unit, they are looking into quarrying in Nueva Ecija and political issues as the possible motive,” said Corpuz.
The official disclosed that the Bote family is engaged in quarrying and construction business in Nueva Ecija. He was also in the process of preparations for his reelection bid in next year’s midterm elections.
Bote was gunned down in front of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) late Tuesday afternoon. He was the 10th mayor killed since Duterte assumed the presidency in July 1, 2016.
“So far as of this time, there is no report or anything that links Mayor Bote to illegal drugs,” said Corpuz.
Bote was a mayor of a small town, with only 13 barangays, which is located in the upland area of Nueva Ecija.
A total of 18 empty cartridges for .45 pistol were recovered in the assassination site.
Corpuz said there were three gunmen who were seen fleeing on board a motorcycle after the attack.
“We are currently retrieving the CCTV footages of some barangays where the suspects passed by after the attack. This will be a big help in our investigation,” said Corpuz.
A motorcycle-riding assassin killed the mayor  a day after a sniper shot killed Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili while attending a flag-raising ceremony in front of their City Hall in Batangas.
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the 57-year old Bote was declared dead on arrival at the MV Gallego Hospital in Cabanatuan City.
Bote was on board his car, a Toyota Fortuner with license plate AAB 2020, and was reportedly on his way home after visiting a regional office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) when a lone gunman reportedly shot the window of the passenger seat beside the driver’s seat where he was sitting.
A Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage on the main entrance of the NIA compound showed that the car boarding Mayor Bote had just gone out of a compound of a government agency and made a brief stop before going to the Maharlika Highway when a lone gunman repeatedly shot the car.
The CCTV footage also showed that Mayor Bote’s driver was still able to drive the car away from the gunman.
The gunman fled after the shooting on board a motorcycle. It was not immediately known if he drove the motorcycle or he was fetched by an accomplice.
Mayor Bote was the 10th mayors killed since President Duterte assumed the presidency in July 2016. Duterte, it was recalled, vowed to run after local executives who are involved in illegal drugs trade.
Among those mayors who died are Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa; Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao Mayor Samsudim Dimaukom; Balete, Batangas Mayor Leovino Hidalgo; Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog; and the recent was Mayor Halili of Tanauan City in Batangas.
Bote, on the other hand, was reportedly not included in the list.


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