PANGASINAN — President Benigno Aquino III arrived here at 2:00 p.m. Friday to visit the wake of Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr. who was gunned down along with two others while in front of a family-owned commercial building which construction he was supervising in Poblacion, Urbiztondo in the morning of June 7.
The President was expected to arrive last Tuesday but due to his busy schedule, he came only today to condole with the bereaved family of Balolong at their residence in Urbiztondo town proper.
Balolong was reportedly close to the President being a member of the Liberal Party.
When the mayor was slapped twice with preventive suspension by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), Balolong appealed his case before the Office of the President and twice it decided the cases in his favor.
The family of the late local chief executive thanked President Aquino for his visit and went on to appeal to him to order the expeditious solution to the killing.
Two suspects were already arrested by the police a few hours after the killing and have been charged before the Provincial Prosecutors Office in San Carlos City for three counts of murder and four counts of frustrated murder.
Though some of the witnesses, including those wounded, identified the two as among the perpetrators, the mastermind has yet to be identified and arrested.
Vice President Jejomar Binay also visited the wake of Balolong Sunday afternoon.
The mayor will be laid to rest at the town’s cemetery on June 18.