MOURNING. The Philippine flag at the town hall of Pinabacdao, Samar was put on half-mast following the shooting of a town councilor on Monday morning (Jan. 25, 2021). Police identified the victim as Sammy Lagario, 50, a current member of the Sangguniang Bayan and former village chief. (Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Cabia)

TACLOBAN CITY – A member of the town council in Pinabacdao, Samar was gunned down by an unknown assailant Monday morning.

Police identified the victim as Sammy Lagario, 50, a current member of the Sangguniang Bayan and former chief of Barangay (village) Parasanon.

Sketchy report reaching the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office here disclosed that the victim was driving a motorcycle heading to the town hall to attend a session  when a gunman attacked him in Laygayon village around 9:25 a.m. 

His back rider Robert Balundo, also a town councilor, was unhurt during the shooting, according to the PNP.

Policemen are still investigating the motive. The victim has been a member of the town council since 2016.

The local government decided to put the town's Philippine flag on half-mast in honor of the slain local official.

Pinabacdao, a fourth-class town in Samar, is about 47 kilometers north of Tacloban, the regional capital.

Some of the town’s remote villages have been identified as influenced by the communist terrorist group New People’s Army. (PNA)