Rafael Slay Suspects Under Custody

From ABS-CBN: Three suspects in the murder of Paracelis town mayor Cesar Rafael last month are now in police custody.

ABS-CBN morning show Umagang Kay Ganda reported that Rene Yadao and Bong Felix surrendered and confessed to the murder of Rafael.

Yadao and Felix told investigators that they had been planning the assassination of Rafael as early as November last year. They said a barangay chairman, whom they have yet to name, masterminded the killing.

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Probers: Politics Behind Mayor Cesar Rafael’s Murder

Come on people in power, let’s have a gun ban not only during elections but forever and ever. Politicians, of course, should be the first to surrender their guns. Here’s the latest update on the murder of Paracelis Mayor Cesar Rafael.

Politics behind murder of mayor, probers say
By Dexter See/Manila Bulletin

Bontoc, Mountain Province — Police probers here said that politics is behind the murder of Paracelis Mayor Ceasar Rafael on Dec. 25, 2007.

They said they are now closing in on the suspects in the first sensational political crime in this province.

Senior Supt. Joseph Adnol, director of the Mountain Province police office, said that the investigators have ruled out revenge and personal grudge as motives, noting that circumstantial evidence point to politics as the cause of the murder of the mayor.

He said that the investigators are now validating the information on the five to 10 suspects who, they said, have not yet left the province due to the tightened security they have implemented at various exit and entry points.

However, Adnol did not give any description about the politicians involved in the killing, saying it is still premature to disclose such details because this might prejudice an on-going operation against the mastermind and the killers.

The men who carried out the murder plot on the long-time municipal chief executive of Paracelis are said to be aligned with an influential person in the town.
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Update on Zennia Aguilan

Mom rues loss of OFW daughter to insurgent attack in Kabul
By Frank Cimatu/Inquirer

Herminia’s sweet little girl is coming home but it is not the homecoming she wanted for her daughter. Zennia Aguilan, 31, a physical therapist, was killed with five other people on Monday when armed men stormed the Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Her 60-year-old mother, Herminia Aguilan, was not sure when her body would be brought home. “She’s short and very sweet,” said Herminia, a retired teacher at Saint Mary’s School in the tourist town of Sagada in Mt. Province.

“She called regularly and the last time was when she greeted me ‘Happy New Year,’” she said by telephone.

Zennia, the fifth of seven children, was still small when her father died.

Her only sister is the eldest and a nurse in the United States so Zennia was her mother’s little helper, said her aunt, Mary Padilan.

“She’s very loving especially with kids,” said her cousin Shirley Lebeng. “Zennia wanted to help her family and I don’t think she had a boyfriend. She always gave us gifts,” Lebeng said.

“My daughter is very thoughtful,” Herminia said.

Although originally from Agawa village in neighboring Besao town in Mt. Province, Zennia and her siblings had to stay in Sagada to be with their mother. Continue reading

Cesar Rafael: Death of a Mayor

Here’s the latest updates on the killing of Mayor Cesar Rafael of Paracelis, Mt. Province. Read our first post here.

This could very well be the first politically-motivated killing in Mt. Province. It is, of course, shocking that it happened but that it happened in Paracelis is not that shocking. The town has a reputation as the province’s “wild east”; it’s kind of like Abra in terms of its brand of politics and in the possibility that violence, which brews unseen, could burst out to the surface.

Still, there is no excuse for murders like this. Our condolences to the mayor’s family and we hope that his killers are brought to justice.

Here’s an Inquirer story by Frank Cimatu and Desiree Caluza:

The killers of Mayor Cesar Rafael of Paracelis, Mt. Province, fired at least 60 bullets into his car that shattered parts of his body.

Residents who saw Rafael’s body at the Paracelis District Hospital in Barangay Poblacion in the town described what was done to the mayor as a “desecration.”

“His eyes and ears were blown off. His arm was almost torn off,” a Paracelis resident said through a text message. “This could only be done by an outsider. Anyone who truly knows the mayor would not have done this,” the resident said.

Rafael was driving his Toyota Hilux and had just left his farm in Barangay Palitod in Paracelis when he was attacked between 12 and 1 p.m. on Tuesday, police said.
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