MALOLOS CITY—A mayoral candidate in Bulacan is now in hiding days before the May 13 polls after the Regional Trial Court (RTC) here issued a warrant of arrest (WOA) against him on Wednesday for the murder of a police officer who is said to be his close friend.
Incumbent Vice Mayor Cipriano Violago who is now running for mayor in San Rafael town is now the target of a massive manhunt operations of the Criminal Investigation Detection Team (CIDT) here.
This came as Judge Corazon Domingo-Ranola of RTC Branch 10 here issued on a Wednesday as WOA against Violago and four other cohorts in connection with the murder of SPO1 Rafael Bartolome, a CIDT operative on May 13 last year.
Violago’s cohort were identified as Vergel dela Rosa Liquino, a resident of Barangay Pansumalok in San Rafael town; Nicolas Mangaluz alias Boyet and Joel Mangaluz, both of Barangay Bahay Pare, Candaba, Pampanga; and Tristan S. Cruz IV, of Barangay Tanauan in Bustos town.
No bail was recommended for the provisional liberty of all the accused pending their arrest.
Based on records,the CIDT filed murder charges against Violago for the death of Bartolome who was identified in earlier reports as “close friend” of the mayoral candidate.
According to initial police report at the time of the killing, Bartolome was allegedly “set-up” and killed by assailants aboard a motorcycle riding-in-tandem after he responded to a friends call inside Lapid’s Ville Subdivision in Barangay Tambubong, San Rafael town.
Police claimed that the death of Bartolome was set-up, because he was killed a by two motorcycle riding men after he responded to the call of his friend residing at Lapid’s Ville in Barangay Tambubong, San Rafael on the night of May 13, 2012.
As a standard bearer of the Liberal Party (NUP) in San Rafael town, Violago is challenging incumbent Mayor Lorna Silverio of the National Unity Party (NUP) who is seeking reelection.
Silverio and Violago were running mates in the 2010 automated elections, until the latter severed ties with the former and decided to run for mayor.
Violago is the father of Board Member Mark Cholo Violago, representing the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) of Bulacan in the Sangguniang Panglalawigan.
Last October, the Violago’s were blamed for the killing of Renato Ignacio, the younger brother of SPO4 Norberto Ignacio who was killed on April15, 2012.
On November 29 last year, Violago’s son Mark Cholo survived an ambush attempt in Plaridel town. Dino Balabo