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The Death of Mayor Raul Matamorosa

NAGA CITY, CAMARINES SUR–Who would have thought that Mayor Raul Matamorosa of Lupi, Camarines Sur won’t be able to complete his last term of office? The mayor, who was elected three times in a row to serve the Municipality of Lupi, was unfortunately shot dead at a TV repair center in Naga City on October 27—way before the election for the next mayor in town.

Based on the CCTV footage released by the Task Force Matamorosa, the mayor’s vehicle was parked in front of the service center along the Diversion Road in Naga City at 3:38 p.m. A minute later, he got out of the vehicle and proceeded to the service center. He went out of the service center again along with the service crew to grab the TV from the vehicle, and then went back to the service center.

At 3:45 p.m., an unidentified man took a spot outside the service center. Three minutes later, Mayor Matamorosa went out of the service center. Then the unidentified man outside the service center followed the mayor to the latter’s vehicle at 3:49 p.m. Footage showed that a smoke burst out from the direction of the mayor and the unidentified man, which indicated gunfire.

Based on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council report, Mayor Matamorosa was brought to Mother Seton General Hospital but died hours later.

Initial investigation conducted by the Naga City Police Office revealed that the suspects used a .45 caliber pistol to consummate the murder.

Who is Mayor Matamorosa

Mayor Matamorosa was said to have been a reputable public servant in town dedicated to serve his constituents. His constituents, colleagues, and relatives were all grieving, and people around him had nothing but kind words for the good mayor.

Before and during the necrological service on November 3 at Barangay Colacling in Lupi, several people have shared their fond memories of the late mayor.

Gloria Malate, one of the residents of Bulawan Jr. in Lupi town, described the mayor to SecurityMatters, “Maboot saka tatao magtabang sa nasasakupan… may mga project sya digdi sa kalye. (He was kind and helpful to his constituents initiating road projects in town.)”

Gina Clave, another native of Lupi, was in the funeral along with her neighbor to pay respect to the mayor by extending household help. When asked whether she has personally received political favors from the mayor, she responded, “Dai man ako parating naghahagad tabang sa gobyerno. (I don’t usually ask help from the local government.)”

Congressman Rolando Andaya Jr., during the necrological service for the mayor, asserted that “to the highest bidder itinao nya an saiyang serbisyo. (The mayor gave his service to the highest bidder referring to the Municipality of Lupi.)”

He further said, “Raul Matamorosa was the best and the brightest in the town of Lupi” and that the mayor has proven that, “there’s honor in public service.”

Representative Andaya, nonetheless, was puzzled by the mayor’s death. “Kan nagadan si Raul, dai man po sya nagdadalagan para po sa re-election, kan si Raul po binawi ninda satuya, dai man po sya nangangampanya… kun igwa man pong dinadalaganan si Raul, kung meron man po syang tinatakbuhan, ito po ay para po sa kasaysayan. (When Raul died, he was not running for re-election, when he was taken away he was not up for a campaign… instead he was striving for the judgment of history.)”

In his exact words, he stressed, “He was running for history, he was running for glory!”

Congressman Andaya, who represents the first district of CamSur, had a brief reminiscence of his friendship with Mayor Matamorosa by expressing his love and appreciation to a dear comrade as well as commending the late mayor for his dedication towards his work. “Gusto ko lang ipaabot saimo Raul na bilang public servant…iniidolo ka namin, sinasaluduhan namin an saimong dedikasyon sa saimong trabaho. (Raul, I want you to know that as a public servant we look up to you, we salute your dedication towards your work.)”

He added, “Bilang isang kaibigan gusto kong ipaabot saimo Raul… na dakulang pribiliheyo na makatrabaho mi ika, makaibanan mi po ang sarong Raul Matamorosa,” saying it’s a huge privilege to have worked with Mayor Matamorosa as a friend.

And he didn’t stop there. “Pinapasalamatan kita sa saimong sinseredad sa saimong katapatan, sa saimong loyalty. (I would like to thank you for your loyalty and sincerity.)”

The Congressman went on to say what was perhaps the best credits from a colleague, “He was a loving father to his hometown as much as he was a loving father to his children… he was likewise a loving husband.”

Meanwhile, Raul Ricardo Matamorosa, the son of Mayor Matamorosa, also spoke about his father’s generosity, thoughtfulness, and love for his family. “Si papa ay mapagbigay…maalalahanin…si papa ay mapagmahal. (My father is generous, thoughtful, and loving),” he shared.

Baby Matamorosa, the wife of the late mayor, extended her gratitude and bid goodbye to her beloved husband in tears, “Sa iyo aking mahal na Raul nagpapasalamat kami, paalam sa iyo, maraming salamat. (To you my dear Raul, thank you and farewell.)”

Roberto Matamorosa, the brother of the mayor, appealed for justice and urged authorities to expedite the investigation saying, “Ang imbestigasyon dapat mapaabilis para matawan hustisya. (Investigation should be expeditious for justice to be served.)” Which reminds us, after all, that justice delayed is justice denied.

Without a doubt, the head of the municipality of Lupi does not deserve any delay in the administration of justice—not when his brother has already declared that Mayor Matamorosa had no bad blood towards anyone, “Mayo nakaiwal ang sakong tugang, pirmi nagsosolo solo…tano ta ngyari ang bagay na ini? (My brother had no enmity against anyone so he would always go out alone. Now, why did this thing happen?)”

Did Roberto Matamorosa resolve his own query when he said that his brother used to go out alone, thus taking security risks? But it might have been conventional for mayors in said province to do so, that one of them claimed, “Pero digdi po baga sa Camarines Sur ay driver lang an kaibanan ta dai kita tuod sa arog kayang violence. (Camarines Sur mayors aren’t acquainted with violence that they usually go out with their driver alone, hardly with any bodyguards.)”

When SecurityMatters asked SPO2 Ernesto Labios whether there has been a police record as to threats against the mayor, he said, “Mayong police blotter, mayong konkretong record mga sabi sabi lang. (There was no police blotter, there was no concrete record, but there were rumors.)”

Moreover, a police blotter for threat might be weak when there’s no substantial evidence, especially when hearsay statements are generally inadmissible in evidence. That explains why most cases of threats aren’t inked on the police blotter, or ignored if any.

To seek for legal guidance, SecurityMatters had a short interview with Fiscal Esperidion R. Solano to ask about the weight of a police blotter for threats in filing for a criminal complaint, he stated,Meron kaunti rin kung magtally dun sa sinasabi ng testigo. (It might strengthen the case if duly supported by the statement of the witness.)

Political Killings

Lately, CamSur has been disturbed by a couple of alleged political killings as the election approaches.

Last November 8, Barangay Captain Archimedes Mabana of Tigaon, Camarines Sur was chased and shot by riding-in-tandem suspects but was able to successfully flee to the rice fields for refuge.

Three months earlier, Barangay Captain Cresencio Moral Labrador of Libmanan, Camarines Sur also survived a murder attempt, but not PO1 Arnel Carullo who was shot dead while responding to the former’s report about suspicious Visayan-speaking men.

With the 2013 elections on its way, we might expect more battles between political personalities.


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