P200,000 bounty up for councilor’s killer

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Governor Elias Bulut Jr. is setting up P200,000-reward for any information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect in the murder of Councilor Bienvenido Verzola III.

Apayao police director Albertito Garcia said the reward money was offered by the governor in a bid to speed up the investigation of the case as well as persuade witnesses to come out and divulge information.

Garcia said the entire Apayao Police force has formed the Apayao Provincial Special Investigation Task Group composed of personnel from the police provincial office, police station, crime laboratory, Regional Investigation Unit and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Cordillera. READ: New Apayao dad shot dead


Verzola III was shot dead by still unidentified men after taking his oath for public office January 13, at Purok Fideleon, Poblacion.

Verzola’s mother, late mayor Betty Versola likewise died in a tragic vehicular accident along Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte June, weeks after taking her oath in office on their way home from an official function here in the Summer Capital.

The tragic death of both Verzolas has evoked emotions from townsfolk as well as neighboring provinces.

Garcia said police are strongly looking into a personal grudge motive on the death of the councilor. Investigation shows Verzola had misunderstandings in the Cagayan area November last year which may have triggered the murder plot.

Verzola was standing in front of a waiting shed at town proper when the shooting occurred. He died of multiple gunshot wounds on his right arm, left thigh, below the nipple and left knee, lacerations on the forehead and fractures in his skull.

Garcia is ruling out politics in the murder saying the councilor, prior to his appointment as alderman, had no political plans, simply accepting the appointment from his late mother’s political party in the hope to continue her legacy of good governance.

“We are also studying 2 other leads which we cannot disclose as of this time,” the police chief stressed.

Any information leading to the arrest of murder suspects will be welcomed by Garcia or the Office of the Governor of Apayao.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 18, 2014.

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