Gunman in Oculto slay charged


SEVERAL cases including murder and frustrated homicide were filed against the arrested  suspect who shot Sto. Tomas Councilor and vice mayoralty candidate, Benjamin Oculto Jr. before the Villasis Municipal Trial Court.

Oculto Jr., was shot to death last Sunday, by one Nestor Vidal and three unidentified assailants.

The family of Oculto filed the murder and frustrated murder charges against Vidal, 43 years old, a resident of Hermosa Tepo, Bataan.

Councilor Ely Ramos filed frustrated murder against Vidal because he was in the company of Oculto when the attack occurred but managed to duck and run.

Meanwhile the police filed a case of direct assault against the suspect.

One Roberto Hizon, 53, resident of Carmen East, Rosales, Liaison Officer of a construction firm based in Nueva Ecija, has been charged as an accessory to the crime/connivance, for his participation by hiring a get-away vehicle for the suspect and John Does.

P/ Sr. Superintendent Wilson Joseph Lopez, provincial director, said the victim, Oculto just came out from the Jesus Christ Chapel while crossing the road, when shot by the suspect and three other suspect on board a Toyota Corolla, colored sky blue without a plate number.

The responding policemen of the town pursued the suspects that resulted in a shootout. The suspects on board the car immediately fled with the getaway car, leaving the gunman Vidal who was cornered by Sto. Tomas Police.

Caught in Vidal’s possession were an M16 rifle with two magazines, a magazine of caliber 45 and a hand grenade.

Oculto was rushed to Dr. Chan Hospital but declared dead on arrival.

The getaway vehicle was abandoned and recovered by the PNP in San Manuel Tarlac.

Lopez formed the Special Investigation Task Group  (SITG) Oculto to follow up on the arrest of the other suspects.

In an interview with the PUNCH, Vidal admitted that he works as a driver in a quarry site in Carmen, Rosales with  “Muslim”, “Arnold” and “Peter” who contacted him and gave him the gun for an assassination assignment on the order of a certain “Kap. Lito.”

The identities of persons he named, particularly Kap Lito are now being sought by the SITG.

In a follow-up investigation, a certain Emerson Pacar admitted having known Hizon but denied being involved in Oculto’s murder.

Oculto is the third candidate who was shot.

The first victim was Sto. Tomas Councilor Ely Ramos, mayoralty candidate and running mate of Oculto.

Last month, Levin Uy, who was running as councilor in Bayambang was shot to death by still unidentified assailant.

Bayambang Mayor Cezar Quiambao had asked the Pangasinan PNP to reinvestigate and open the case because he believes the arrested suspect was a fall guy. (Nora Dominguez, with PhilStar News Service)

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