MANILA - A barangay chair who was running for a legislative post was gunned down by unknown assailants in Quezon City Wednesday, nearly two weeks before the start of the official campaign period for the 2019 midterm polls.
Barangay Bagong Silang chair Criselle Beltran was shot dead inside her vehicle along with her driver around 12 noon, an incident police considered "election-related."
She was running for Quezon City 2nd District Representative.
Beltran's two other companions and two bystanders, including a minor, were also injured in the incident that took place along J.P. Rizal Street, police said.
Authorities recovered from the scene 26 bullet shells from caliber .45 and 9mm pistols.
The Quezon City Police District formed a special task group to look into the case as it is considered to be linked to the upcoming elections, QCPD director Chief Supt. Joselito Esquivel said.
Jie Bolaño, one of Beltran's staff, told reporters the official had tagged along with police in anti-drug operations in her barangay.
"Personal siyang sumasama at nagwi-witness sa lahat ng buy-bust operation sa barangay," Jie Bolaño, one of Beltran's staff, told reporters.
(She came and served as witness in all buy-bust operations in the barangay.)
Having worked with Beltran for 9 years, Bolaño said she was not aware of any threat on the slain official's life.
"Kilala po namin si kapitana, maging mga napagalitan o nakagalit niya, lahat iyun niyayapos niya. Hindi mahilig iyan makipagsagutan ng away, gusto niya lahat kakampi," Bolaño said in an interview on DZMM radio.
(We know kapitana, even those she had scolded or her enemies, she hugged them all. She doesn't like confrontations, she wants everybody to be her ally.)
Police have yet to identify the suspects and the motive for the killing.
- Ulat nina Johnson Manabat at Doland Castro, ABS-CBN News