HITMAN ARRESTED: A bullet vest clad suspected assassin Arnulfo Calaunan, being
interrogated by the Philippine National Police investigator from the
provincial police office. A Lawyer from the PNP came too to tell the suspect
about his rights and inquire about his credentials as United States citizen.CALASIAO , Pangasinan - Policemen arrested recently here an alleged hit man after he and his two companions shot a village chief and two of his body guards as they were buying fruits in the public market.
Arnulfo E. Calaunan, an acknowledged citizen of the United States, was found by a team of SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) of Dagupan City hiding in a prone position on a wet grassy area at the back of the mansion of Sta. Barbara Mayor Carlito Zaplan in Barangay Gabon here.
SWAT. The Dagupan City SWAT Team sent by Superintendent Christopher Abrajano to augment the policemen in Calasiao to runafter gun men who shot a village chief and killed one of his two bodyguards.
Calaunan, who was in his late 30s and a former resident of Barangay Talibaew, was found clad in a white bullet vest and wielded a 45 caliber handgun with two spare loaded magazines to boot. Police said he and his group shot Longos Barangay Chairman Majadiva Mesina and two of his body guards.
Mesina, who was shot at the right side of his body, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of Villaflor Hospital in Dagupan City while one of his two body guards who watched him buys bananas and lansonez near the puto (white cake) stalls here was hit at the head that resulted for his instantaneous death.
The other closed- in who was hit on the foot was able to scamper and hide in one of the puto stalls. A girl who was in one of the white cake stalls was hit too but later pronounced by doctor to be out of danger.
CORPUS DELICTE (BODY OF THE CRIME). The .45 hand gun and the three magazines seized from Calaunan when the police found him hiding in a grassy area in Brgy. Gabon, Calasiao, Pangasinan. The photo of the spouses Majadiva Mesina at the extreme part of the photo was found in his wallet as his reference. "I took it (photo)from Face Book," the gunman was heard to tell the police interrogators.
From the crime scene Calaunan, a brother of the former village chief of Longos, ran by foot as he traded with gun fire with members of the Philippine National Police who pursued him at Sitio Pandayan until he reached a hiding place near the back of the house of Mayor Zaplan in Gabon.
Police source who asked anonymity said the suspect arrived in the Philippines in August this year and was found to have in his wallet a plane ticket to the United States with a departure date of November 4 this year.
The other document found on his wallet was the photo of spouses Mesina that he took from the Face Book account of the village chief.
"He said he was monitoring the movements of Mesina since August. He was remorseless of what he has done to the barangay chairman and his companions," the source said.
Blood stains left by the wounded Brgy Chairman
Earlier on the fateful day, Mesina and candidates of this 24-strong village's town for the Octob28 er barangay polls attended a peace covenant in the nearby Catholic Church before Calaunan and gang pounced on them at the fruit stalls near the town plaza.
The incident, where the police were seen frantically searching for gunmen at each stalls, was seen on television as media men have just emerged from the church where the peace covenant was held.
But the suspect insisted he carried the dastardly act alone against the trio when he coincidentally saw them buy fruits after they disembarked from Mesina's van.
Police Superintendent Noel Vallo, the town's chief of police, instructs
the SWAT how to pursue the suspects who traded gunfire with
the police in Sitio Pandayan.
"The Mesinas have killed my brother and two of my nephews. My other relatives have migrated to Manila because we heard that the Mesinas wanted to exterminate all of them," the police source quoted Calaunan, who was still dripping with water after he was found hiding on the watery part of the grassy area.
But police investigators did not buy his pronouncements. One of them said it would be impossible to shoot Mesina and not being shot by the two bodyguards who were seven to 10 meters away from him.
Last December 2012, the father of Mesina, Antonio,59, a retiring Examiner of Revenue District Office-4 of the Bureau of Internal Revenue based here was ambushed and killed by riders in tandemin Brgy Lasip this town as he was bound for home. Calaunan denied he has a hand in the killing of the older Mesina.
PNP Lieutenant Colonels Cris Abrajano, who wields a
US- made Bushmaster assault rifle, and Lopez (ex-
treme right, intelligence chief of the provincial police
and Major Soria-no from the provincial police S-6 seem to be
onguard at their post after a Fil-Am assassin and his
ilks ran berserk near the police station.
The suspect, who was in a handcuff at the interrogation room, said he wore his armor vest every time he went out after he arrived in this country. Although he has a house in Barangay Talibaew, he stays in a safe house in Barangay San Miguel here.
"Talagang planado na niya ang pagpatay sa mga kalaban nila," Superintendent Noel B. Vallo Sr, the Chief of Police here, said on TV.
The police suspected he was planning to assassinate Mesina because he concealed his arrival from his village mates and relatives.
Vallo downplayed the incident here as not election related since Mesina run unopposed for the village chairmanship but as a result of intense family feud that snapped already some lives between the two parties.
The SWAT team leader at the left was the one
who saw Calaunan hiding in a grassy area
after his team combed meticulously the place.
A dead body guard of Mesina
Police men in a running rampage after gun men shoot itout with each other at the Calasiao public market.
Aside from Calaunan, the group of Mesina has been found to have handguns despite the gun ban ordered by the Commission on Election.
Meanwhile, Pangasinan Police Provincial Office Director Marlou Chan said the PNP has been investigating the documents seized on the wallets of the body guards of Mesina.
He said the police are checking if they are members of the military or police since guns have been seized from them.
"They do not have exemption to carry guns from the Comelec and Mesina did not apply for security protection with the PNP," Chan said.