He ran for municipal councilor under Wagas team but lost in the 2010 local election.
In a statement, Wagas did not advance any theory for the violence.
“We are waiting for the result of the investigation of our law enforcement agencies. For the meantime, our party is also conducting an investigation. We don’t want to telegraph our moves. One thing is clear, the late Marito Yraola is one of the petitioners of an Election Protest before RTC branch 55 in Mandaue City. His wife Lelian is the barangay captain of Tamiao who is loyal to the group”, Wagas said in a text message.
Newly installed Mayor Joel Quino shrugged off insinuations that the shooting was politically motivated.
“Layo ra kaayo sa tinood ug ipahid ni as politically-motivated (It is far from reality to say this as politically motivated),” Quino said.
Quino belongs to the administration-affiliated Barug alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) political party.
He said he is doing his best to help catch the gunman and ordered the Compostela police to intensify police checkpoints and roving patrols, and conduct a 24-hour monitoring.
Yraola was the sponsor of Tuesday night’s variety show, one of the activities leading to the town’s fiesta on Saturday in honor for San Isidro Labrador.
Yraola was with his wife- barangay captain at the basketball court with several residents watching the variety show past 9 p.m.
People ran off in panic when the gunman started shooting. The shoother then boarded a parked motorcycle “waiting” around 100 meters from the basketball court, then fled with other unidentified men..
Bystanders later noticed the perpetrators hiding in a dark and grassy area. When the group thought the crowd had left the area, one of them went out with his motorcycle to sitio Manga, Estaca, half a kilometer from the site of the shooting.
Barangay residents recognized the gunman and his cohorts and chased them.
They caught Ponce while his two cohorts escaped.
Residents said Ponce fit the gunman’s description Police said Ponce was a possible gun-for-hire.
In a separate interview, Senior Insp. Allan M. Rosario, chief of the Compostela police said Yraola was involved in the construction supply business and real estate, and that business rivalry could also be a motive for the killing.
In the Compostela jail, Ponce’s left eye was bruised.
“Gikulata ko sa mga standby.” (I was mauled by bystanders.) Ponce said.
Ponce said he was a habal-habal driver as “side-line” work and that he was conducting a “survey” in the area.
“Nanguha ko ug inpormasyon. Asset man ko sa 78IB. Nagsurvey-survey ko kung naay mga gagmay nga panghitabo.” (I was just getting some infomation. I am an asset of the 78 Infantry Batallion. I was just conducting a survey in the area if something might happen.) Ponce told Cebu Daily News.
Ponce said that his wife and 4 children did not know that he was arrested.