Calbayog has been always identified as a hot spot during the election campaign period due to poll-related violence.
Its former mayor, Reynaldo Uy, was gunned down in Hinabangan town, also in Samar, before the May 2013 elections. His murder remained unsolved.
The most recent were the violent deaths of Rio Merencillo Lebario, 45, Dagum village chief, and his councilman (“kagawad”) Dionesio Tarrago Lungsod, 55. They were shot by two men in their 20s while attending a meeting inside the barangay hall about 10 a.m. of May 20.
Three days earlier, an unidentified man shot and killed Edgar Dormiendo Belleza, 35, village chief of Carayman.
Belleza belonged to the camp of Samar Gov. Sharee Ann Tan, while Lebario and Lungsod were allies of Tan’s political rival, Calbayog Mayor Ronald Aquino.
During his visit to Calbayog, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas expressed alarm over the series of killings and told the police to address the situation.