PAO chief lawyer in San Carlos City shot dead by unknown assailants

March 20, 2010 12:03 pm 

By Leonardo V. Micua

SAN CARLOS CITY, Mar. 20 —- The district chief of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in San Carlos City was gunned down and killed by two motorcycle-riding men wearing helmets in Barangay Cacaritan here at about 11:00 a.m. on Friday.

Atty. Dante Untalan, 59, a native of Villasis town but residing in Barangay Malibong, Urbiztondo, was going to the Justice Hall Building in Barangay Pagal aboard a for-hire tricycle when the incident happened.

The victim was reported to have just attended a court hearing in Urbiztondo town when he was fired upon by one of two unidentified men riding on the motorcycle tailing the tricycle from behind.

It was learned that although chief of PAO in San Carlos City, Untalan does not own a car and take public means of transport to and from his office.

Untalan, who was the lone passenger of the motorized tricycle, driven by one Kim Peter Marquez, 21, of Barangay Payar, San Carlos, sprawled in the side car of the tricycle and bathed in a pool of his own blood.

Marquez was unhurt but visibly shaken as a result of the incident.

The victim suffered 10 gunshot wounds in different parts of his body, nine of which found their mark in the victim’s back and one on the head.

He died on the spot but despite this, responding policemen still rushed him to the Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physician.

Investigators said the gunmen, who were wearing black jackets, used a cal. 45 pistol as evidenced by several empty shells and slugs found at the crime scene.

Politics was immediately suspected as the possible motive of the killing as they theorized the killing could be the work of guns-for-hire.

However, it was learned that although Untalan is not a politician, his wife is an incumbent barangay chairman in Urbiztondo town and is reportedly running for mayor.

It was learned that the family of the victim was reported more inclined to believe that the killing could be work-related as Untalan is defending poor litigants enmeshed in possible land dispute with opulent local landlords.

Based on initial statement of tricycle driver Marquez, Untalan flagged him down and asked him to bring him to the Justice Hall. But unknown to him, two men riding on a motorcycle followed them at the rear.

He said when the motorcycle-riding men got near them, the back-rider opened fire, hitting Untalan in the back and head.

Marquez said he first heard one gunshot which was followed by successive shots and when he slowed down, the motorcycle overtook them and sped away

Lawyers in Pangasinan immediately denounced the incident and called for a swift investigation in order to bring the perpetrators and the mastermind before the bar of justice.

They said the killing of Untalan could have been at least avoided had the Commission on Elections granted the petition of PAO lawyers for exemption from the gun ban in this election.

Lawyer Feliciano Bautista, national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, who is a former mayor of Santa Barbara, called for an immediate resolution to the killing of Untalan.

Bautista also rallied his fellow lawyers to come together and denounce the grisly incident that befell on a member of the bar in Pangasinan.(PNA)



One Response to “PAO chief lawyer in San Carlos City shot dead by unknown assailants”

  1. rhen on March 23rd, 2010 10:48 am

    Sir, I would like to correct your report. My aunt Liberata M. Untalan the wife of the Late Atty. Dante B. Untalan Sr. is not running for mayor like you have stated and there is no gunshot wound in the head…we would like to thank you for your report but our family is being hurt by wrong statements that have been published, and may spark another incident which we would not like to happen. Thank you and more power.