Bayawan City Councilor Victoriano Alabastro was shot and injured by two unidentified suspects Friday evening as he was just leaving the campus of the Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) in nearby Sta. Catalina town shortly after his class ended.
Alabastro, first councilor of Bayawan City, is also a lawyer and a teacher at the NORSU Sta. Catalina campus.
He is now recuperating at a hospital in Dumaguete where doctors pronounced him out of danger after treating him for bullet wounds on his abdomen, said Negros Oriental provincial police director Sr. Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas.
Initial police investigation showed that around 7:40 p.m. Friday, Alabastro had just boarded his vehicle, which was parked near the classroom where he held his class, and had started the engine when he noticed two men walking up to him while pulling out something from a bag.
The suspects then fired at Alabastro who managed to fire back as he drove the car in reverse, said Lawas. As he was driving, the councilor felt blood already oozing from his abdomen.
The legislator told the provincial police director that he could not figure out yet a possible motive or any suspects in the attempt on his life.
This is the second attempt on Alabastro’s life. The first attempt happened in the afternoon of December 31, 2010, when two men on a motorcycle stopped near him as he was having his car washed at a gas station in Bayawan City. One of the two men attempted to shoot him but the gun jammed twice, forcing the would-be assassins to run away.
In their hurry to escape, the duo left behind their motorcycle which was recovered by the police, but no suspects have been arrested.
Sr. Supt. Lawas has ordered Sta. Catalina police chief Sr. Insp. Edwin Tuble to further investigate the shooting incident and look for possible witnesses as he believes that aside from security guards, there might have been students still on campus at the time of the shooting.
Police recovered two slugs and four spent shells of a caliber .45 handgun from the crime scene.
Investigators have also been ordered to identify the number of hits and entry points in Alabastro’s vehicle to determine which rounds had been fired by the victim and the suspects, said Lawas.
Sta. Catalina police chief Tuble and Bayawan police chief Sr. Insp. Errol Garchitorena are closely coordinating efforts to investigate the attack on Alabastro, Lawas added. (PNA/Judy Flores-Partlow)