GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines — Police nabbed on Friday a South Cotabato mayor over the 2004 murder of defeated mayoral candidate Gregorio Banal.
Tampakan Mayor Bienvenido “Bonbon” Barroso did not resist arrest when police personnel served the arrest warrant, Senior Superintendent Robert Kiunisala, South Cotabato Provincial Director, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net.
Kiunisala said his office received a copy of the arrest warrant issued by Judge Jose Mendoza of the Regional Trial Court Branch 55 based in Manila just a few days ago.
Barroso and his uncle Henry Barroso were tagged by witnesses as the masterminds in the killing of Banal.
Banal, a businessman in Tampakan, was gunned down on July 28, 2004 by three motorcycle-riding men in downtown Tampakan.
The Barrosos, however, denied the charge.
The family of the victim petitioned the court to transfer the venue of the court hearings to Manila for security reasons and to ensure a fair trial of the case.
Kiunisala said the arrested mayor will be brought to Manila Friday afternoon via commercial flight.
“We have to implement the court order. This is to show that nobody is sacred cow in the application of laws here in the province,” Kiunisala said.
Barroso was then a municipal administrator of his father, former mayor Bing Barroso, when the Banal killing took place. He won as mayor in the last May 14 election.