Councilman tagged in killing of village exec in Talavera town

TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija — A 31-year-old village councilman was arrested Friday night for allegedly masterminding the murder of a colleague, who was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding gunman while attending the interment of a villager at the public cemetery in Barangay Poblacion here earlier.

Supt. Alexie Desamito, town police chief, said on Saturday that suspect Jervie Bondoc, councilman of Barangay Dimasalang Sur this municipality, provided the gunman with information on the whereabouts of the victim, Ramoncito Magtalapa, 55, also a village councilor.

Magtalapa succumbed to a lone bullet wound on the back of his head that pierced through the forehead from a cal. 9mm pistol.

Desamito said the victim was talking to a neighbor at the cemetery when shot at close range by the gunman. “He was declared dead upon arrival at a local hospital,” she said.

A follow-up operation led to the arrest of Bondoc, who turned to have a grudge against the victim, owing to his family’s belief that Magtalapa was behind the assassination in August 2018 of the former’s father, who was then reelected for second term as councilman.

The younger Bondoc was appointed as his father’s replacement for the unexpired term.

Desamito said witnesses saw Bondoc roaming around the cemetery but rushed to leave the place after the killing.

“Initially tinitingnan natin kung may kinalaman ito sa pulitika (We were looking if it has any connection on politics).

But as we go deeper, it turned out to be revenge,” Desamito said, saying that investigators have managed to extract “vital information” from Bondoc.

In an interview, Bondoc admitted that the alleged gunman, a certain ‘Waway’ Jimenez,” has been convincing him to get back at Magtalapa for PHP50,000.

When he turned down the offer, Jimenez vowed to carry out the killing for free, Bondoc said. Bondoc said that Jimenez was his father’s friend.

He said he saw Jimenez at the vicinity of the cemetery prior to the killing of Magtalapa but denied any participation.

But Desamito said evidences showed Bondoc participated in the killing. “Murder charges will be filed against Bondoc,” she said.   Marilyn Galang/