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. Anne

    Very sad.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Myers

      @mavent: FYI... 64,000,000 guns owners in the U.S killed no one today... or yesterday. Now I ask you... how many of them protected someone or themselves with a gun? Cowards like you will never really know.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • poisonivy

      the victim leave a great evidence for his death.....

      January 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Richard, well, there IS Spain.
      Chile comes to mind (current Chile), but then Chile can't AFFORD to retain criminals...

      January 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      I know what you mean... Some people just hate having their picture taken. It's so annoying sometimes!

      January 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      @bill myers, how do you know that no gun owner in the US killed anyone today, or yesterday? I get your point, but you're exaggerating facts that you can't know 100% for sure.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mainehater

      @ Richard – your obviously an uneducated redneck

      January 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • the skipper

      Its great to get the Real Perspectives from those of you who POST Comments, Beats the HE...Out of the Article.
      Your the Real News, the articles are just the TOPIC...Keep it up..thanks.

      January 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TK

      @Bill Myers: Guns kill more than 10000 folks each year in the US... thats nearly 30 per day. If none were killed in the past 2 days, then tomorrow's really gonna suck... I ain't leavin' the house.

      January 5, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      @BillMyer–I'd like to know the answer to that question. Because most responsible gun owners keep their guns locked up, how are they truly able to protect themselves? It seems that your claim needs to be proven.

      January 5, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Williams

      eehhhh go to jail right now? lol

      January 5, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. The Bodacious

    Only in the Philippines can cheap guns be found legally on the black market.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      legally AND on the black market

      January 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Legally AND on the black market. There's a distinction.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      @ The must be living in the hellish place where black market is legal. miserable life you've got! ONLY IN YOUR PLACE!

      @ CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin..FYI...The one who got arrested was the look-out, the gun man is still on the loose and MightLaughin to see(C.)!

      January 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      only in the phillipines? are you an idiot?

      January 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      Hey mykids, thanks for that. As I wrote, the Inquirer quoted the police chief saying the gunman was arrested, but he told us just an hour or so ago that the newspaper's reporting was incorrect. I left the link in so everyone could see it, but you're correct: Our latest information from Caloocan indicates there have been two arrests and that the gunman in the photo is still on the lam - that, according to Chief Jude Santos.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • RiceRocket

      The article says available legally 'OR' through the black market. Please read carefully before you make comments. Otherwise you will seem foolish.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • S. Cooper

      What does that even mean? If it's the "black" market, how can guns be bought legally on it?

      January 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vetter200

      Are you kidding???

      January 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      @ Eli, No Problem...also my bad, I thought that there was only one who got arrested. And my apology for that last was just nothing but a plain joke. So let's just call it quits.(?)

      January 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      Oh, I wasn't dogging you, mykids. Just making sure you and the other readers saw that we acknowledged the discrepancy in the reporting. No offense taken on the joke at all. Keep on reading and commenting, pal!

      January 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dino

      And the USA once the republicans have their way, ( for a short while )

      January 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dave

    if more people in that crowd had guns this never would have happened right tea boggers

    January 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Yeap, the more people who have automatic rifles, the less chance of violence.

      Next step, bazooka's for all!

      January 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConcernedNetizen

      Never bring a Gun to a Bazooka fight..

      January 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Davesanidiot

      Yes, that's right..ban guns, so then the criminals are the only ones with them and the rest of us are helpless to fight back. Yeah, you win the MORON of the day award.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spearwielder

      Who knows. Switzerland has a very high rate of gun ownership and a very low rate of crimes involving guns. So what's the difference, and why doesn't that, society full of guns, have an atrocious crime rate?

      January 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • The11th

      Spearwielder, they are issued the guns as part of compulsory military service and the ammo is kept in a sealed container, which is subject to inspection for unauthorized use. Basically, the analogy doesn't work.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      *Yawn* Why is it you take a story from a third wold nation and attempt to apply it here in the states? One has nothing to do with the other.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • american citizen

      Law abiding citizens who have guns generally operate within the law. They don't do drive by shootings or crime of any sort. No one should apply a broad law to all of it's citizens for hand guns. For example, to outlaw guns to citizens. I do believe a lack of an education has a lot with why people commit crimes. It is certainly not the only reason. If people could be educated and well paid to do a job they enjoy, then there would probably be less crime?

      January 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • american citizen

      That could be true if people are willing to shoot the same person ( the criminal) and not each other, or the innocent bystander who took out the perp? I think you believe that people will see the same thing unfolding and that may or may not be the case. Also if more people had guns would they use them?

      January 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustEric

      Why don't you ask Vermont? In the state of Vermont, there is no requirement for a permit/license to own or carry (open or concealed) a firearm. The only requirement is that you have a clean criminal record and be over 18 years of age with a valid photo ID, such as a drivers license.

      Care to take a guess as to how many gun-related deaths Vermont had in 2009? Precisely ZERO. In fact, they had little violent crime at all, and only THREE MURDERS the entire year for the entire state (two were stabbings and one was a blow to the head with a blunt object).

      Now, according to you, violent gun crime should be RAMPANT in Vermont because they have no laws infringing on the Second Amendment. Why don't you go ahead and tell me what the violent gun crime rates were for Massachusetts and California, two of the most infringing states in the nation?

      On a related side-note, the Brady Campaign to END GUN VIOLENCE issued their annual report card last year for how well individual states were doing in ENDING GUN VIOLENCE based on their performance in 2009. Vermont, a state that effectively ENDED GUN VIOLENCE received a *failing* grade on its progress towards ENDING GUN VIOLENCE. Tell me with a straight face that the Brady Campaign has any interest whatsoever in actually ending gun violence. I dare you.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve


      There was at least one suicide in Vermont enabled by a gun. According to the story, suicide by gun is higher in Vermont than most other states, thanks to its lax gun laws.

      Remember kids that commit suicide are ill and desperate, not criminals, but those that do so with a handgun are less likely to survive long enough to get help and realize that life does get better.

      January 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The victim had a weapon, a 45 caliber pistol. He was a public official, so he was allowed to cary weapons. The family speculated that the reason he wasn't able to shoot back is because his children was in front of the gunmen. Got this information from Philippine Daily Inquirer.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prospero

      @ Steve,
      From your source: "According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, between 1987 and 2006, 2.12 of every hundred-thousand Vermonters under the age of 19 shot themselves to death."

      We're talking about a state with 600,000 people over 19 years; you do the math. This argument isn't comparing apples to apples. Vermont's suicide by firearm rate for minors is substantially lower than the national average.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paul

    Yeah, it's sooo hard to find a gun here in the United States. I think it took me about 5-6 minutes when I got a hand gun.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      THAT long? What's wrong? Your wallet got stuck in your pocket?

      January 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Money Mitch

      Stop lyin it's 3 days federal background check

      January 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • IsNot

      It doesn't take three days anymore. With a computerized system linked to the federal DB, you CAN get approved the same day.

      January 4, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Partymonster

    Nice reporting. Gee it's about a picture isn't it? Where is the picture?

    January 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Genuis, the pic is in the link. Notice the blue highlighted words

      January 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      Nice reading you idiot!

      January 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brooke

      its called reading critically. jeez first day on the internet?

      January 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • EE

      Less partying, more learning...

      January 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. billy

    where is the police force there

    January 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A CNN Reader has the interesting picture.... As for the ease of getting guns, if someone wants you dead, it doesnt matter what they use, the end result will be the same....

    January 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brooke

      they also have the "interesting" picture here too. its linked to the article.

      January 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      So does, if you had bothered reading the article thoroughly...

      January 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. J

    That photo is shocking.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mz Fighter

    Criminals...they get dumber every day.. Pose for the camera stupid and wait for the cops to come "pic" you up.

    Talk about incriminating. I didn't have a problem finding the picture in the article.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • BrotherJohn OFDallas

      The gunman probably assumed if he kills the cameraman, the camera dies, too

      January 4, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Smartypanz

    So this gunman genius decides to even the score since he was sent to jail.
    Now what?-much more jail time for you Einstein.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Greg

    Philippinos are so stupid.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • RiceRocket

      Hey stupid.... What is a Philippino?

      January 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duh

      It's Filipino, stupid.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bizdak

      Philippinos2x pa kunohay, ilara tetz butete kang makahilo! Greg2x pa kang GORYOHA ka!

      January 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Greg - You sound pretty stupid yourself. Not all Fillipino's are like this.. and for that matter.. the same stupidity exists everywhere, even here.. as you have so poignantly demonstrated.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      John, when defining someone else's stupidity, please note that the apostrophe is used to show possession or a contraction, not to make something plural.

      January 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Frank

    People of the World,
    I was in Manila twice on business.It has high tech business corporate centers and major slums.Since they have the killer on tape they have hime dead bang.They may have a trial but this killer may not survive to make it to trial since this may have been a political hit.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinkie

      People of the world?!? I think so Brain, but if they called them sad meals, kids wouldn't buy them...

      January 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Smartypanz

    Com'on Greg-it has to do with bad people, plenty in every race and culture.
    Now get off to school!

    January 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. reen

    That is the most chilling photo I think I've ever seen, especially with how close the gunman is to the little girl. How awful.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Matt

    I smell a hoax with this one. This photo will be listed as fake on Snopes any day now.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      you just smelled your own breathe. Go to mommy now for her to brush your teeth for you and tell you (conspiracy) stories before you go to bed.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
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