Two masterminds in gun-slay of judge’s wife known; one dies

>> Sunday, June 12, 2022

By Liezle Basa Inigo and Halee Andrea Alcaraz

CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela –The Philippine National Police Provincial Office in Isabela has considered the killing of Agnes Palce, newly hired internal audit manager of Isabela II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ISELCO II) and wife of a Regional Trial Court RTC judge here, a solved case.
    Colonel Julio Go, provincial director of the Isabela Police Provincial Office, made the statement in an interview with a local radio station here.
    He said the killing of Palce can be considered a solved case following filing of charges against the gunman, driver and the two alleged masterminds.
    The alleged perpetrators in the shooting incident on May 28 were Barry Bulan, 43, who was allegedly the gunman, and his cousin Jervy Bulan, 36.
    Both of them are residents of Calamagui 1st, City of Ilagan.
    Also included in the charges sheet were David Solomon Siquian, general manager of ISELCO II and Michael Paquirigan, 59, member of the ISELCO board of directors and uncle of Barry Bulan, the alleged gunman.
Go cited the gunman’s extra-judicial confession alleging that Siquian and Paguirigan ordered the killing of Palce, wife of Judge Ariel Palce of Ilagan Regional Trial Court Branch 40.
    Go added Palce’s work as internal audit manager at ISELCO II may have something to do with the killing.
Palce was riding on a van on her way home in Tumauini, Isabela when two unidentified gunmen riding on motorcycle overtook her car on Wednesday, May 25.
    The back-rider shot her at a close range, and the police said Agnes was hit on her right jaw.
    The victim was rushed to the nearest hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
    This, as 59-year-old Michael Paguirigan, a member of the board of directors of ISELCO II, died in his home here early Monday following the arrest of the two gunmen who shot and killed Palce.
    His wife, Ancieta Paguigirigan, found Michael in their living room. She later heard a gunshot and saw Michael oozing with blood.
    The victim was rushed to Isabela Doctors General Hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Michael is one of the suspects for the murder of Palce, a resident of Tumauini town, who was promoted at ISELCO II in March. 
    Palce allegedly discovered “numerous undocumented transactions and suspicious” cash withdrawals directly from the account of ISELCO II without supporting documents, according to the affidavit of her husband, Cauayan Regional Trial Court Branch 40 Judge Ariel Palce.
    Palce, who was gunned down here in Barangay San Felipe, on May 26, relayed to her husband that the last of suspicious cash withdrawals were made by ISELCO II general manager David Siquian, amounting to P500,000.
    Although in her report, half of the amount was returned.
    Meanwhile, Barry Bulan and Jervy Bulan, the two gunmen who were riding in tandem, have been arrested. 
    However, ISELCO II’s general manager, another suspect in Palce’s death, is still at large.



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