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. Kacy

    How awful.
    Fortunate that he 'captured' his murderer but so sad to have a last memory like that with the killer in the photo.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |

      they can photoshop him out of it.

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

    ins't actually the bullet that kills people?

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

      Technically, it's the trauma caused by the bullet's passing through tissue that injures or kills.

      January 5, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jacknyd


    What's sad is that this would be happening in America if the Tea Baggers had their way.

    What a totally stupid moronic thing to say.. Get a job you dumb arrrrrs moron.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Spyder1

    He shouldve waited til the camera wasnt pointing at him....

    January 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gapkid

    Okay, my question is: why was he taking a picture of his family in a dirty parking garage?

    January 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Spyder1

    Just my, .02...

    January 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ernie

    This murder is sad on many counts. Right in front of his family shows a total lack of human respect. All the more reason that law abiding citizen's should have the right to be armed. Firearms are a fact of life & only very foolish "dreamy" people believe outlawing guns will save lives. Criminals can always get one or make them if they have to.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Do not need guns

      You do not need guns to commit murders.
      Outlaw: knives, hammers, screwdrivers, rocks, water(drowning), cars, chairs, toothpicks, tree branch, rope, etc...
      Guns save lives of innocent people every day.

      January 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. elo

    That is real sad. And the murderer is a d–chebag. I hope the Philipino people can rise from this sort of thing and that guy goes to jail. Is there a death penalty in the Philipines?

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

      No, they abolished it 2 years ago. But don't worry chances are if or when they catch this guy the police will execute him. Very common practice here in the Philippines

      January 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cat

    snap-snap. cease all guns and give them cell camera phones.

    January 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Spyder1

    @ elo

    Lets hope they DONT ( Philipines), because life imprisonment would be FAR WORSE....

    January 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve-O

    That has to be Photshopped!...looks like the border in Juarez!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Spyder1

    Steve-O came from the murky end of the gene pool...photoshop...really?

    January 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dale

    "Gee I wonder what that little box is that he's holding up to his eye... what was that flash of light? Oh well, I'm so gangsta and smart, everyone's super stoked for me."

    January 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. firework

    All of yall just need to shut up! your all idiots!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teach

      "You're" all idiots.

      January 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mykidsisastupidmoron

    All in the name.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
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