Slain Filipino councilman caught killer in family photo
The family of Reynaldo Dagsa provided a photo to police that reportedly shows the councilman's killer.
January 4th, 2011
02:43 PM ET

Slain Filipino councilman caught killer in family photo

It's not uncommon for criminals to be caught on tape in the age of smartphones and pocket-sized cameras, but you don't often hear of someone photographing their own murderer.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer and hundreds of other news outlets are reporting that Caloocan City Councilman Reynaldo Dagsa did just that on New Year's Day.

The photo, which was distributed to police and the media by the Dagsa family, shows Dagsa's wife, daughter and another relative posing for a photograph. A man in the background is standing behind the family and another man wearing a backward baseball cap is holding a handgun whose muzzle is illuminated by the camera's flash.

The family seems unaware of the gunman's presence. Presumably, the two shots that entered the councilman's chest and arm rang out just after his shutter snapped. Dagsa was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Inquirer reported that Caloocan Police Chief Jude Santos said the man holding the .45-caliber was arrested Monday in Manila. Santos, however, told CNN on Tuesday that the gunman was still at large and that police had arrested two other men.

Police were looking for the man standing behind the family in the photo, who may have been serving as a lookout, and another suspected lookout who is not in the photograph, according to the Inquirer.

CNN affiliate ABS-CBN confirmed police had arrested two men and were seeking a third. Santos told the media outlet that police would not have made the arrests without the councilman's photo.

Chief Inspector Crescencio Galvez of the Caloocan police told the Inquirer that the men were known car thieves out on bail, and they may have been angry with Dagsa for having them arrested last year.

Galvez further said Dagsa was a member of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team and was active in maintaining order in the region.

Gun violence is prevalent in the impoverished Philippines, and cheap guns are available legally or through the black market, according to London's Daily Mail. The U.S. State Department reports that "kidnappings and violent assaults do occur in metro Manila and elsewhere" and issued a travel warning late last year saying that kidnap-for-ransom gangs are active throughout the island nation of 100 million.

Assassins on motorbikes have also posed problems, making headlines when a security guard in November killed an actor that he mistook for a real motorcycle gunman.

See CNN's full coverage of the Filipino councilman's assassination
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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Philippines
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. lisa

    That's just plain creepy

    January 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lady U.S.A

    Wheres the killers Parents/ OH WAIT!!!! Wait till they see this PHOTO. If they even got a RATS ASS what their KIDS OUT DOING,

    January 4, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mario

    what a crappy comments dude..

    January 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tony

    Weaver stance

    January 4, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. db

    I see many folks that say we should have gun control, we do in the USA. Now you say that at least 30 people get killed each day from guns, what about all those killed on Motorcycles, or in cars, how about crossing streets, drowning in bath tubs, industrial accidents, flying, boating, or even riding a horse. How many die from slip and fall accidents while shoveling snow, or any other accident? What about the million other ways one can die? I would say that given that fact that the percentage of gun shot victums vs the rest of the killer stuff, that guns are actually pretty safe in the hands of people that legeally own and use them. Crooks, killers, fools, will always find ways to kill or be killed.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Hailstorm

    @mike Partymonster couldn't see the link because his name said it He must have been too high to see the link. Some funny comments as usual.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. Spyder 1™

    Lady USA deep throats

    January 5, 2011 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. guns

    people...guns arnt the problem. Canada has at least 2 guns to every person that is there and their murder by gun rate is almost non existent. its the people that hold the guns and the culture that is the problem. stop blaming tools for things that people do. if this person really wanted this guy dead and didnt have a gun he would find a way with some other weapon.

    January 5, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pototoy Fernandez

    For those who haven't lived in the Philippines, let this be a warning. The vast majority of crimes, especially those involving the death of foreigners, are not reported. It's essentially a lawless country where the culprit, if found, can always get off the hook if he/she has money or is well connected. And if you are a foreigner, forget about justice. Your life is worth about USD 50 for the vast majority of Filipinos. Corruption, ignorance and bigotry rule the land.

    January 5, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Philip Vasqusz

      Indeed you are ignorant. I wonder how one be educated and get this kind of learning? A pig who did not go to school doesn't think about justice and dignity – here you are educated and learned yet do not belive in justice and dignity. You are a shame.

      December 19, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Charlie M

    I believe the local culture and social ideas/norms dictate the level of violence, for instance there is a big difference between homicide violence involving guns in Oregon versus Compton, CA. Granted guns give you the means to do it, but ultimately its the people and local culture that dictate what happens.

    January 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. In Soviet Russia...

    You shoot assassin!

    January 10, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
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