STA. BARBARA — A Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) was formed by acting-Police Provincial Director Ronald Oliver Lee to probe the ambush-slaying of the barangay chairman of Banzal in Sta. Barbara and three of his close relatives last Tuesday evening while crossing Malanay Bridge in Barangay Malanay.
P/Chief Inspector Rex Infante, town police chief, identified the fatalities as Banzal Barangay Captain Cecilio Ballesteros, 56, his son Brian Jose Ballesteros, 34, his brother Dionisio Ballesteros, 54, and his brother-in-law Manuel Aquino, 36.
According to P/Supt. Jackie Candelario, deputy police provincial director for operations, SITG Ballesteros, composed of different police units already met Wednesday and identified possible motives of for the ambush-slay, among them love triangle (Ballesteros had 3 common law wives), his illegal gambling activities and alleged involvement in cattle rustling. His involvement in drugs is also being looked into because he reportedly identified sources of drugs in the barangay to the police.
All four were on board a tricycle heading home towards Barangay Bangzal after joining a drinking spree in Barangay Tuliao, Calasiao when armed men on board a motorcycle opened fire on them, killing all of them instantly.
The victims sustained multiple gunshot wounds from caliber .45 and 9 mm based on more than 20 fired shells and slugs recovered at the crime scene.
He said based on the records of the police in Sta. Barbara, Ballesteros persuaded many of his constituents involved in illegal drugs to surrender under Project Double Barrel.
Rescue unit together with Rural Health Unit of Santa Barbara led by Dra. Fe Buenaluz Reyes arrived at the crime scene and declared the victims dead.
Infante said Ballesteros received a wreath after the 2016 elections. (Leonardo Micua/Tita Roces)