The police is hunting for the suspected mastermind and his alipores according to this latest report from the Philippine Star via ABS-CBN:
BONTOC, Mt. Province – Police vowed to arrest the mastermind and three other suspects in the Christmas Day murder of the mayor of Paracelis town within the month.
Being hunted down for the killing of Mayor Ceasar Rafael are Anonat barangay chairman Rommel “Borbon” Ambatali, the suspected mastermind and alleged leader of a criminal syndicate involved in kidnappings for ransom, robberies in band, illegal possession of firearms, murders and cattle rustling in Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela; Anonat barangay kagawad Danny Agabao, and brothers Tony and Orland Gumbi.
Last week, Ambatali and his six henchmen were formally charged for the Rafael killing after two suspects – Bong Felix, 34, and Rene Yadao, 32 – gave themselves up to police and claimed that they served as lookouts.
The two tagged Ambatali as the mastermind who paid them P5,000 for the hit job.
Rafael was waylaid at around 2 p.m. of Christmas Day while on his way home to Sitio Sinigpit, Barangay Butigue in Paracelis town on board his Toyota Hilux pick-up truck. Some 60 empty M-16 shells were found in the ambush site.
Another gunman was arrested in Paracelis last week.
Senior Superintendent Pedro Ganir, newly installed Mt. Province police director, hopes to arrest Ambatali and his henchmen soonest, said Inspector Ruel Tagel, spokesman of the provincial police.
“We are resolved to put the suspects behind bars within the month,” he said.
After the surrender of the two gunmen and the arrest of another suspect, Rafael’s daughter, Mayor Anna Marie Banaag of Natonin town, said the case “is still far from over.”
“I am interested in the people behind the killing of my father,” she said.