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
Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Justice • Philippines
soundoff (153 Responses)
  1. truthinrock

    Let history show that this was the FIRST time a cell phone camera was put to good use.

    January 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. discouraged

    Can't even imagine after all of the chaos to find that he took his owns assassins picture. Eww

    January 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. purga

    Greg, not all "FILIPINOS" are stupid! You may be one yourself for misspelling the word. May the victim rest in peace now...

    January 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chris

    Only a Filipino hit man would be dumb enough to stand in front of a camera

    January 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ClydeT

    You shouldnt bring a camera to a gun fight

    January 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Six

      You have to have twisted, tongue-in-cheek humor to appreciate this, and I do. LOL

      January 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • myklds

      @ clyde..that was not a gun fight and wasn't for that camera, suspects wouldn't have been that easy to identify.

      @ six..maybe you mean, twisted mind? that's what you've got!

      January 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      @ mykids – aw come on now ... that was funny. some people don't get humor because they take things too literally. ever hear the saying "never bring a knife to a gun fight?" .. ClydeT's remark was simply a play on that.

      January 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pazi

    wow – this photo is disturbing... what are the chances...

    January 4, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. maypeaceprevail

    After reading the article and looking at the photo I've come to the conclusion how cruel the world truly is. He shot this man while he was innocently taking a picture of his family..... Then I began to read the cruel and heartless comments left by people... it really goes to show how clueless others are about someone else's life. May the family members of the man killed seek peace. And the others who left heartless comments, may u also find peace!

    January 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • chiku

      what you said is very true and eloquent. people who would make snide and mean jokes about such a tragedy must indeed be in a lot of pain. this is one of the saddest things i ever read about. he had no idea his final act in life would be to snap this photo. it's just so sad. death in general is, but when it comes completely out of the blue and so prematurely, it's especially tragic.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 1jimmyhoffa

    Wish I would have had a camera phone thing as you call them!!!!

    January 4, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Six

    Man, that's creepy.

    January 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. IxNay

    this is something right out of the Twilight Zone. Really creepy.

    January 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Charlie butler

    Are you ok dude wow unepic man unepic

    January 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sibannac

    nice shot!!! double meaning

    FYI currently at training..........

    January 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jinx

    dats a human condition photography!!!!
    wat a picture perfetct moment....

    January 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stickemup

    @ republicant if you so smart why arent you the president why arent there people listing to u lets hear and see what u can do i hope it aint sarah palinish

    January 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. memphis

    guns dont kill people. stupid people with guns kill jus ask Bin laden.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6