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Polomolok mayor offers P500K reward for IDs of aide’s attackers

Local News • 11:45 AM Mon Mar 20, 2023
Edwin O. Fernandez
Photo of Mayor Bernie Palencia (from LGU FB page) and the victim’s car with bullet holes (PNP Photo)

KORONADAL CITY  – Mayor Bernie “Jojo” Palencia of Polomolok, South Cotabato on Monday offered P500,000 reward money for anyone who can provide information that will help identify and arrest of the suspects in the shooting of his executive assistant on Friday (March 17).

Speaking to a group of media persons, Mayor Palencia said he believed he could be the target of the two gunmen who shot at close range his aide Rhyolite Agregado Balili, 49, Palencia’s executive secretary.

Balili was driving his car and was about to enter the town hall premises when shot by two motorcycle riding gunmen at about 11 a.m.

He sustained gunshot wounds in various parts of his body, according to Polomolok Chief of Police Lt. Col. Joseph Forro III. He said the victim remained in an undisclosed hospital in Gen. Santos City.

“I believed I was the target,” Palencia told reporters Monday.

The mayor said the shooting of Balili, a former town councilor, could be politically motivated.

“My political enemies are sending a message,” he said in the vernacular.   He did not name names.

Palencia said he was told that two men selling roasted peanuts were seen taking videos of him during the opening program of Women’s Month celebration.

Del Forro said no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.  He added that security measures are in place to prevent similar attacks in the future.  

Three members of the Civil Security Unit of the Polomolok local government unit, including a former police mayor who served as chief civil security, were separate killed in January this year. 

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