Police arrest suspect in shooting of Cebu barangay chairman

Leleth Ann Rumaguera, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2017 05:27 PM | Updated as of Nov 25 2017 08:26 PM

The barangay chairman of Ermita in Liloan, Cebu was shot dead by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants Thursday.

CEBU CITY- (UPDATE) One of the suspects in the ambush of Barangay Ermita Chairman Felicisimo "Imok" Rupinta was arrested here Friday night.

Jimmy Largo, 41, nabbed in F. Gonzales Street in Ermita, was identified by Jocelyn Mendoza, Rupinta's common-law wife, as the one who was with the slain barangay chairman at the time of the ambush. 

Rupinta was shot Thursday night while he was on his way home to San Vicente, Liloan. A witness said two motorcycles surrounded Rupinta's vehicle during the attack.

Recovered from Largo were his supposed getaway motorcycle, a .45-caliber pistol and a 9-mm pistol, and sachets of suspected drugs. He is temporarily detained in Police Regional Office 7. 

The suspect, according to police, is a former convict, a high-value target, and is included in the drug watch list of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

"As per investigation, it is not about politics, but about work. Sa ngayon hindi pa namin idi-disclose kung anong aspeto sa trabaho ni kap ang talagang rason ng ambush," Police Regional Office 7 director, Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino, said.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Largo denied involvement in the killing of Rupinta but revealed that a person from Barangay Ermita had previously approached him seeking to strike a deal to have Rupinta killed.

"The resident asked me to look for gunmen who can kill Rupinta, but he did not tell me the reason why he wanted to kill him," Largo said in local dialect.

Largo said he denied striking the deal and was unable to look for a hired gun, but he refused to identify the man who allegedly contacted him about the killing. 

He insisted that during the ambush, he was inside his store at Carbon Public Market.

Three other suspects are still at large.

Largo may be charged with illegal possession of firearms, possession of illegal drugs and murder. — With a report from Jude Torres, ABS-CBN News