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Village chief, 4 others face double murder charges

CAGAYAN de Oro City–A village chief and four others, including the suspect, were indicted in the killing of two village officials in Bukidnon this year, a police report said here.

Included in the double murder charges was Dominorog Village Chief Judith Ocum, Village Treasurer Angelie Bercede and her husband-driver Jonas, Village Secretary Rogeline Camasere, and the suspected triggerman Montano Samron a.k.a. “Teng.”

P/Capt. Dominador Orate, Jr., Chief of the Talakag Municipal Police Station, said that some witnesses alleged that Ocum and her staff was seen talking to the suspect prior to the shooting of the two village council members.

There were also incidents that Ocum would allegedly  threaten to hurt Guinto in the presence of many witnesses during the village’s regular session.

Orate said that village councilors Mauricio Guinto and Lorenzo Pedyaan, both senior citizens, were gunned down outside the Dominorog Village Hall on their way to attend a regular village session in the morning of January 20, 2020.

Ocum has denied a hand in the killings and pointed to the outlawed communist New People’s Army (NPA) who might be working with “political rivals” as the possible suspect.

Orate, however, said that Angelie Bercede, the village treasurer, earlier talked face-to-face with the suspect in the village hall few minutes prior to the shooting incident.

In an initial investigation, the Bercede told the police that the suspect reportedly pretended to get a community tax certificate (cedula) and asked for the whereabout of Ocum.

Bercede told the police that she did not tell the suspect, who turned out to be Montano Samron, that Ocum was in the second floor of the village hall because she was suspicious of Samron.

“I did not tell him (Samron) that Ocum was actually upstairs because I smelled something suspicious about Samron,” Bercede told the police.

Orate said that Samron went outside the village hall where he reportedly waited for the two village councilors to arrive and shot them at close range before fleeing.

Orate said that the police failed to immediately respond to the incident because the mountain village of Dominorog, one of the villages of Talakag, is about 50 kilometers away from Talakag’s police station.

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