Vice Mayor shot inside his office in the municipality of Dimasalang, province of Masbate, Philippines

At around 3:30 in the afternoon, Vice Mayor Regolo A. Moran had just got back in his office which is located at the ground floor of the municipal hall from the municipal council session held in the same building when two men in ski masks entered the room and started shooting him. Vice Mayor Moran wrestled with one of the gunmen but the other one shot him. The perpetrators fled on board a motorcycle. He sustained 3 gunshot wounds and died on his way to the Masbate Colleges Hospital, a 2-hour drive from Dimasalang.

Riza Asarez, the vice mayor’s secretary and Ruel Afable, an employee were also wounded in the shooting incident.

There was no immediate response from the police which necessitated the wounded Ruel Afable to go to the police station, located just 50-60 meters away from the crime scene to report the incident and seek assistance. Police Chief Romeo Lopango and another police were at the station when Ruel went there. It was learned that the rest of the policemen were in a cockpit. The Dimasalang Police did not conduct any investigation on the incident.

Vice Mayor Moran was vocal in condemning the spate of killings and other human rights violations in the province allegedly perpetrated by the military. He was one of the speakers during the provincial congress of KARAPATAN-Masbate held last 21 September 2007, and was scheduled to participate in the International Human Rights Day rally in the province on 10 December as part of the negotiating team of the mobilization.

Prior to his death, he complained that elements of the 9th Infantry Battalion Philippine Army under the command of 1st Lt. Beronia were constantly “inviting” him.


** Note: Apparently Mayor Moran was frequently asked by the military to go to their detachment ("invited") for questioning regarding his ctivities and affiliations or the groups he worked with. He was closely associated with the human rights group in his province.