BY MAE SINGUAY and CYRUS GARDE
BACOLOD City – The village chief of Barangay 16 was shot dead by four men riding in tandem on motorcycles outside a beer house in Purok Paloma around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Police identified the victim as Barangay Captain Nelson “Jun-jun” Ligaya Jr., 48, of Purok Dalawidaw.
Chief Inspector Sherlock Gabana, public information officer of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), said Ligaya was on a drinking binge with friends when sprayed with bullets.
The assailants – who were wearing facemasks – then exited along Yulo Street going to the south.
Ligaya’s companions brought him to the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center. He was declared “dead on arrival.”
Cops recovered four spent bullet shells of a .45 pistol and three deformed slugs from the scene of the crime.
Gabana said the police were exploring all possible motives.
Probers so far learned that Ligaya owed from loan sharks large sums of money.
They were not dismissing the possibility that the shooting was politically-motivated or drug-related.
During the recent MassKara Festival, President Rodrigo Duterte warned an unnamed Bacolod barangay captain allegedly engaged in illegal drugs to leave the city or get killed.
“I will destroy you,” Duterte warned the barangay captain as he vowed to sustain his war on drugs up to the end of his six-year term in 2022.
Then addressing barangay officials in general, the President said some of them pretended to be upright when in fact they were engaged in various illegal activities such as drug trafficking.
According to Gabana, Ligaya was not in the Philippine National Police’s drug watchlist.
He also said Ligaya was very active in the campaign against illegal drugs and regularly held Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council meetings.
Gabana said, too, that Ligaya was popular with his constituents./PN