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Coordinator Of Nationwide Village Elections Killed

February 10, 1989

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Two gunmen killed the chief coordinator of next month’s nationwide village elections in a late night ambush in front of the victim’s home, police said Thursday.

Sgt. Rodolfo Disierto said Vicente Gerochi Jr., 54, an official of the Commission on Elections, was gunned down in his car Wednesday night after pulling up in front of his home in suburban Quezon City. The gunmen escaped.

Gerochi was manager of the commission branch in charge of the March 28 election, when voters will choose 294,000 members of village councils across the country.

Commission officials said they did not know the motive for the killing but said Gerochi’s house was strafed by unknown assailants during regional elections in January 1988.

Police investigator Reynaldo Medina said the assailants flagged down a taxi in Manila about two hours before the killing and asked to be driven to the victim’s home.

They told the driver to keep his engine running and later asked and received water from the victim’s maid to keep the motor cool while they waited for Gerochi, Medina said.

After eating dinner at a sidewalk cafe, they calmly returned to the house, shot Gerochi and then fled in the same taxi, he said. The driver, Rosario Fernando, told investigators he was forced at gunpoint to take the assailants back toward Manila, where they disembarked and fled.

Fernando then reported the shooting to police. Medina said the driver told authorities that the gunmen spoke with an accent usually associated with Moslem areas of the south.

The military had sought a postponemenrazon Aquino opted for the March date under pressure from the Senate.

In another development, 50 Communist rebels raided a police station and robbed a bank in the small town of Looc on Bohol island, 380 miles southeast of Manila, the military reported Thursday.

The report said one government militiaman was killed in the Wednesday raid. The rebels made off with five rifles, four typewriters and about $11,000 in cash.