ILOCOS SUR - Three people are dead after separate shooting incidents in different towns of Ilocos Sur.
A 57-year-old tricycle driver, identified as Nestor Gamata, was shot dead in Zone 5, Bantay, Ilocos Sur on Friday.
Authorities revealed that prior to the incident, the victim was walking in front of a gasoline station when he was suddenly shot several times by unidentified persons riding in tandem.
Gamata sustained several gunshots which hit different parts of his body. He was dead on arrival at the hospital.
"Wala naman siya nasasabi na problema, pero sana mabigyan ng hustisiya ang pagkakamatay niya. Naniniwala ako dahil madaming tao yung pinangyarihan, kaya siguro naman may makapagbibigay ng impormasyon tungkol sa mga suspek," said Nila Gamata, wife of the victim.
(He did not tell us of any problems, but I hope for justice. I believe that because there were many people in the scene of the incident, someone there can give information about the assailants.)
Recovered from the crime scene were 7 spent cartridges, three deformed slugs, and two metallic fragments of caliber .45
Authorities are investigating if the incident is related to illegal drugs. The victim was top 10 on the drug watchlist of the town of Bantay but surrendered last July.
"Lahat naman ng posibleng motibo tinitignan natin, pero tututukan natin itong sinasabing koneksyon niya sa illegal na droga," said Bantay police chief, Inspector Edmund Artates.
(We are looking into all possible motives, but we are focusing on the alleged connection to illegal drugs.)
Meanwhile, in the town of Sinait, a drug suspect was also shot dead.
Elmer Icari, 36, a construction worker, was killed by an unidentified person in barangay Sta Cruz in Sinait. Icari was among the top drug suspects of the town.
In the town of Nagbukel, 49-year-old Romeo Margate, a chief tanod of Barangay Bantugo, was also shot dead by unidentified suspects.
Authorities are still investigating the possible motive.
With the increase in the number of shooting incidents in the province, the police provincial office ordered an intensified conduct of checkpoints and higher police visibility with the help of the Philippine Army.