TWO persons — one a village chief — were killed when an anti-gambling operation turned into a shootout Wenesday night in Masbate.
The fatalities were identified as Barangay Salvacion Chairman and Association of Barangay Chairman (ABC) Dante Hernal and his companion Jun Ibanez.
Reports from Police Regional Office ( PRO) 5 showed that the incident occurred at around 8:25 pm in Barangay Mapitogo, Balud, Masbate.
According to Police Lt.Col. Luisa Calubaquin, spokesperson of PRO5, elements of Masbate Police conducted an anti-illegal gambling operation in the area when a group of armed men led by Hernal, peppered them with bullets.
Law enforcers returned fire resulting to the death of Hernal and his companion.
The armed men immediately fled towards unknown direction on board a van.
Police are conducting a follow-up investigation to determine if the Village chief and his companion were members of the gambling syndicate operating in the province.