2 masked men kill councilor
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Public attack. Initial reports said that San Fernando Councilor Alexander Alicaway was walking toward the town hall from the public market when two men on a motorcycle drove near him and fired. Other reports said he was leaving the town hall. (Foto from sandernandocebu.gov.ph)
A MUNICIPAL councilor was shot dead by riding-in-tandem assailants near the public market in Barangay South Poblacion, San Fernando around 5 p.m. yesterday.
Senior Insp. Adrian Nalua, the townâs police chief, said that San Fernando Councilor Alexander Alicaway died of a gunshot wound in the head. He was 49.
Alicaway is the second incumbent public official killed by unknown assailants on board a motorcycle in the past 23 days. He has four children.
Last Feb. 19, Ronda Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab was shot dead while he was driving his car outside the Cebu City Hall of Justice.
The Task Force Ungab spokesperson, Cebu City Homicide Chief Jonathan Taneo, said a possible suspect was killed in a police operation in Buenavista, Bohol last Feb. 22. He did not name the suspect, who was also the subject of an arrest warrant for killing a police officer.
In the San Fernando case, Nalua said that investigators are still trying to identify the attackers and figure out the motive.
The assailants covered their faces and wore full-face helmets besides.
PO2 Erwin Oyao, the investigator, said that Alicaway left his grocery store in the public market past 4 p.m. and walked toward the town hall, about 20 meters from the market, reportedly to get a document.
Phone, necklace taken
The assailants drove near him and shot him. They also stole Alicawayâs necklace and cell phone, but left his wallet.
Oyao said the culprits possibly wanted to make it appear they were robbers, to mislead the police.
âMaayo man daw ni siya nga konsehal (He was said to be a kindhearted councilor),â he said.
For his part, Nalua said that the councilor had no criminal record and had not reported any death threat to the police.
Alicawayâs name, Nalua added, had not surfaced in a list of personalities suspected of being involved in any illegal activity, including the illegal drug trade.
âWe will interview the family and relatives to determine the reason behind the murder,â Nalua said in a phone interview.
PO3 Marjukim Misuari, in a separate interview, said that Alicaway did not run in the 2013 elections, after serving as town councilor for nine straight years or three consecutive terms.
Al icaway ran in the 2016 elections and won a seat in the municipal council.
The victim was rushed to South General Hospital in Naga City yesterday afternoon, but he was declared dead on arrival by the attending doctor. Nalua ordered his investigators to check the security cameras of establishments near the crime scene to identify the gunman.
Before he was killed, Councilor Alicaway was reportedly delivering a letter to the municipal council, asking them to investigate an allegedly illegal transaction of the municipal government.
Marivic Alicaway, the late councilorâs widow, told SunStar Cebu that just days before he died, her husband showed her a letter from an anonymous source.
The sender was reportedly asking Alicaway and other councilors to investigate the sale of the municipal governmentâs unserviceable vehicles and heavy equipment for scrap metal, even though no public bidding was conducted.
Alicaway reportedly wanted the contents of the letter to be tackled during the councilâs regular session on Monday.
San Fernando Mayor Lakambini Reluya plans to meet with the police today to get updates on the investigation.
âHe was a down-to-earth and very approachable person,â Reluya said.
Though they belonged to opposing parties, Reluya said that Alicaway was never known to hold a grudge against fellow officials.
In a separate interview, former San Fernando town councilor Neil Enriquez said he knew Alicaway as âa good public servant.â
âHe had no known enemies in our town nor was he involved in anything illegal,â Enriquez said.
Enriquez said he first met Alicaway back in 2004, during their first term as municipal councilors. When their terms both ended in 2013, Alicaway and Enriquez served under the administration of former town mayor Antonio Canoy.
Enriquez served as municipal administrator while Alicaway served as a consultant for the San Fernand o municipal council.
In 2016, Alicaway ran for councilor under the slate of mayoral candidate and former San Fernando Vice Mayor Miguel Antonio âMickoâ Canoy.
While the younger Canoy lost, Alicaway along with some of his party mates won and held the majority in the municipal council under Reluyaâs current administration.
Alicaway served as chairman of the council committee on the environment.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on March 15, 2018.
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