The provincial police said Monday that the murder of Ruben Bediores Goh, who was a candidate for councilor in Aborlan town, is “not election-related violence.”
Palawan Provincial Police Office (PPO) director Senior Superintendent Dionisio Bartolome said in a press conference that follow-up investigations about his shooting revealed it was most likely “personal in nature.”
“We submitted our report to our chairman of the Provincial Joint Security Council (PJSC) recommending that the case should be cleared as a non-election related incident,” said Bartolome.
Goh, 51, was gunned down on January 21 while on his way home along the national highway in Barangay Magsaysay, Aborlan, by still unknown assailants.
Bartolome said the shooting incident did not satisfy the criteria for it to be deemed election-related violence.
He said it did not create “political tension in the area”, considering that the victim is an independent candidate or not affiliated with any political party.
This means the incident will not upset the electoral process.
“Based sa nakikita natin, we also did a social background investigation of the person and the chances of winning are very minimal. Hindi talaga siya ‘yong well-known political personality sa Aborlan,” Bartolome pointed.
(Based on what we’re seeing, we also did a social background investigation of the person and the chances of winning are very minimal. He’s not a well-known political personality in Aborlan.)
He said these “two justifications” led them to conclude that in spite of the death of the victim, what happened to him was not election-related.
The PPO, he said, narrowed down three possible intentions for killing Goh, which included possible “mistaken identity, drug-related incident, and personal conflict.”
Bartolome said they also considered the manner the assailants killed the victim.
“It seems that they (the suspects) had already an inkling of his activities, so alam kung saan siya bibirahin (… they know how to hit him),” he said.
According to Bartolome, the victim had a drug-related record in 2003 which was only dismissed in 2010.
He added they ruled out the possibility that it was mistaken identity even if there is someone who has the same name as his.
This person, however, does not even have the same activities as the victim.
“More or less personal, because base on the nature of work, parang minsan nagiging sentensiyador daw ito sa sabungan so ‘yong possible conflicts ng mga decision-makings niya [is a factor]. Sa business-related side naman, nasasama sa business deals, so tinitingnan talaga natin ito[ng] mga possible motives of his untimely death,” said Bartolome.
(More or less, it’s personal because based on the nature of his work, he was like the judge in the cockfighting ring so there was the possibility or factor of conflict in decision-making. On the side of business-related, included were his business deals, so we’re looking at these as possible motives of his untimely death.)
Bartolome said they will make an announcement if they already have the exact information on the motive behind Goh’s slaying.
Meanwhile, acting provincial Commission on Elections (COMELEC) supervisor John Mark R. Tambasacan, said there is no basis as of now to deploy additional election troops in Aborlan to maintain peace and security.
“Sinasabi ko sa PNP kung may mga lakad ba [and need] na magdagdag tayo ng mga tao sa Aborlan because of that incident. As of this time wala pang basis para magdagdag,” said Tambasacan.
(I was telling the PNP if there’s any need to add more people in Aborlan because of that incident. As of this time, there’s no basis for that.)