Another murder rap filed vs Ilocos town mayor


LAOAG CITY -— Newly-installed mayor Jessie Ermitanio is facing another murder charge for the killing of a municipal councilor candidate on November 11, 2015.

Senior Superintendent Jose Melnecio Nartatez Jr., Ilocos Norte police director, said Wednesday a case of murder was filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office at 3 p.m. on Tuesday for being the alleged mastermind in the killing of retired policeman, Senior Police Officer 1 Conrado Agtarap, 49, in Barangay Lydia, Marcos town.

Agtarap’s case is currently under the Special Investigation Task Group and it has resurfaced following the surrender of Ricky Florendo before the Ilocos Norte police.

That time, Ermitanio was an incumbent ABC president of Marcos town and had filed his candidacy for vice mayor. Agtarap also filed his candidacy as municipal councilor under a rival political party.

Florendo was a former bodyguard of Ermitanio who testified that he accompanied Jose Datu, who shot Agtarap in his yard. Datu, a resident of Manabuc village in Burgos, Ilocos Sur was earlier arrested by police authorities for the killing of Ermitanio’s predecessor, Mayor Arsenio Agustin.

According to Nartatez, Florendo’s testimony will suffice to the filing of murder charges against Ermitanio.

“The confession [of Florendo] is crystal clear and undisputed facts of the case,” said Nartatez as he pointed out they will continue to validate the information.

Earlier, another arrested suspect, Bernie Lazo, who allegedly served as lookout in the killing of Agustin, also implicated Ermitanio to the killing. This led to his arrest on July 14 as police seized numerous firearms and explosives in his properties in Barangays Lydia, Elizabeth and Cacafean in Marcos, Ilocos Norte.

“This is a good development in Ilocos Norte. Those who have knowledge about a crime are now coming out. We urge all others who may have any information to help us solve other crimes,” Nartatez added.

Nonetheless, police also filed charges against Florendo and Lazo for acting as accessories to the series of killings in Marcos town. Leilanie Adriano/