The Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) has included illegal drugs as one of the angles in probing the murder of Barangay 2 councilman Romeo Canlas in a residential compound in Barangay 26 here on Saturday night.
Lt. Col. Ariel Pico, public information officer of BCPO, said the Police Station 4 is leading the investigation, which focuses on various angles, as directed by Col. Henry BiAas, city police director.
Aside from drugs, investigators are considering personal grudge and politics as possible motives.
It could be that he had a previous conflict with someone. As he was elected number one councilman, it could also be political, Pico said in a press briefing held at Police Station 4 on Monday.
Maj. Renante Jomocan, chief of Police Station 4, said since they do not have a lead yet on the identities of the assailants, they are looking into several angles in the course of the investigation.
He added that Maj. Sherlock Gabana, chief of Police Station 2, informed him that Canlas is included in the watchlist of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Nicolas Golez, provincial officer of PDEA-Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, said on Monday that Canlas was reported as a drug personality to their office.
Canlas, 33, was shot dead by unidentified men while having a drinking session with Barangay 26 councilman Reno Delarna in the latter's residential compound around 9:25 p.m. on Saturday.
In a radio interview, Delarna said that after attending a cockfight earlier on Saturday, they went back to his place, where Canlas has been staying for almost two months.
Jomocan, during a press briefing, said that based on the statement of Delarna, Canlas asked to stay at his residence as somebody was after Canlas and there were issues against him.
Initial investigation showed six men arrived in the middle of the drinking session of the two barangay officials and their buddies.
It was not known how many persons fired at Canlas, but the victim sustained at least eight gunshot wounds, the police report showed.
Delarna said the armed men, who were covering their faces and wearing caps, entered the compound and ordered him, Canlas, and their companions to stay down. They then heard shots being fired.
He added that witnesses said six men arrived, but only three men entered the compound, and looked for a certain person, whom he does not know.
Canlas was brought to Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, where an attending physician declared him dead on arrival.
Source: Philippines News Agency