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Same gunman behind twin attacks vs Pangasinan poll bets – police

MANILA – A gunman who shot dead a vice mayoralty candidate in Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan was also involved in the assassination attempt of a councilor running for mayor, police said Thursday.

Suspect Junjun Vidal was arrested last December after gunning down municipal councilor and vice mayoral candidate Benjamin Oculto Jr., just after he attended a Mass.

Vidal confessed that he was also involved in a gun attack against councilor and mayoral candidate Ely Arciaga Ramo in October, said Senior Supt. Wilson Joseph Lopez, chief of the Pangasinan police. Ramo survived the attack.

Vidal, a resident of Bataan, is likely part of a gun-for-hire gang, not a local private army, he told radio DZMM.

Investigators have sought search warrants from the court against the suspect’s cohorts based on his statements, Lopez said, but declined to give more details.

Police also tagged Sto. Tomas among 8 “areas of concern” that tallied incidents of election-related violence in the province, said the official.

DZMM, 10 January 2019