ILAGAN CITY , Philippines – A Sangguniang Bayan member in Alicia town in Isabela was tagged by a suspect in the killing of a bank executive in the province.
Joey Bautista, who admitted to killing Johnson Pascual following his arrest last Tuesday, claimed Eric Bumatay hired him to kill Pascual, who was a manager of the First Isabela Cooperative Bank (FICO) branch in Maddela, Quirino, on Oct. 2 last year.
Bautista implicated Bumatay in a sworn statement, which Isabela police director Senior Superintendent Franklin Mabanag said will be used as a basis for the filing of murder charges against the councilor.
Bautista’s companion during the killing, a certain Buddy Palalay, remains at large.
Bautista was arrested in Barangay Victoria on the strength of a warrant for another murder case issued by Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court Judge Tomas Talavera.
Last year, another detainee, John Corpuz of Barangay Mararigue, San Manuel, Isabela, tagged Bumatay in the killing of village chairman Alfredo Salvador and his 70-year-old mother in Alicia in November 2010.
Corpuz claimed Bumatay hired him to kill the Salvadors for an unnamed mastermind. He later said he was tortured into admitting Bumatay’s hand in the killings after Gov. Faustino Dy III offered a P200,000 reward for a breakthrough on the cases. - By Raymund Catindig