ILOCOS SUR - A 43-year-old barangay councilor in the town of San Esteban was shot dead Wednesday.
The victim, Loreto Gaoat, was traversing the national highway in Barangay Maynganay Sur in Sta. Maria town, on board his motorcycle, when two motorcycle-riding men shot him several times.
Gaoat sustained bullet wounds on different parts of his body, causing his instantaneous death.
Recovered on the crime scene were seven empty shells of a caliber .45 gun, one bullet jacket, and a deformed slug of an unknown caliber.
The unidentified gunmen remain at large.
According to San Esteban Police, the victim is included in their drug watch list, categorized as a pusher and user. Gaoat was also among those who voluntarily surrendered to clear his name on his alleged connection to illegal drugs.
"Tinitignan natin kung may koneksyon ang kanyang record na kabilang sa mga drug watch list, pero tinitignan din natin baka may mga iba pang posibleng motibo kaya patuloy namin na kinakausap ang kanyang kaanak," Sta. Maria town Chief of Police Chief Inspector Anthony Otinguey said.
The victim's wife, however, denied his involvement in illegal drugs.
"May nagdawit lang sa kanyang pangalan, hindi totoo ang sinasabing koneskyon niya sa illegal na droga. Baka may kaugnayan ito sa kumpetisyon sa negosyo," Norma Gaoat said.
The victim owns a furniture shop, and was on his last term as a village councilor in Barangay San Pablo in the town of San Esteban.