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. MannyHM

    Unfortunately this is part of politics in most countries. If take the role of somebody who has to govern be prepared. How many U.S. presidents were shot ? Look what's happening with Mexico ? The only aspect that makes this newsworthy on a global scale is the unbelievable moment that this photo was taken when the gun was aimed and fired.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MattsWife67

    sad! just so sd and cruel. so much hate in this world now!

    January 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Spyder1

    @ firework

    Tongue-jack my poop-box

    January 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Antichrist

    Isn't it ironic that both of them were shooting each other XD

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

    Ah, Filipino government. In the Philippines if you are in politics/government, you deserve to be shot. There is absolutely no other reason than coruption, that the hard working people of the Philippines should not be prosperous as in South Korea. The government in the Philippines let the people starve while they stash money. The Filipino people deserve far better.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      The only people to blame for this is the voting public, they vote the corrupt politicians in.

      Example: Erap, the ex president that was a convicted and spent time in prison, the last election he was 2nd runner up with 12% of the vote.

      Maybe they should start shotting the voters.

      January 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rob Hannigan

    Black Market and Legal is an oxymoron.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lady USA

    So sad for the Family, an Im so SAD to read what all these people have to say an how they TALK to each other, AN HOW THEY CALL each other NAMES FOR NO REASON {{ WHY.}} think about what u have said, thats why AMERICA IS THE WAY IT IS BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU. im a lady an a PROUD GUN OWNER, an guns dont kill people ( people kill people)

    January 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JustHadDinner

    If he had an iphone 4 with better pic quality, they'd have caught them by now.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Spyder1

    Hey, lady USA (AKA: Windbag)

    Eat it 😉 And hold on, Im gonna give you your own personal tree to hug-whenever you want ...

    January 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lady USA

    SORRY BAD ME //////// not all these people ///// some of these PEOPLE.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Spyder1

    Oh, and furthermore lady USA, BULLETS are the actual culprit...

    January 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lady USA


    January 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Spyder1

    Learned a while lonely? Need a friend? Go to Adult Friend Finder...;)

    January 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joseph

    Talk about getting caught red handed. This individual and his accomplice should be put in jail for life.

    January 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      He shot the gunman, the gunman shot him. He no longer cares, but the gunman and his accomplice WILL care, for a long, long, long time.

      January 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lady USA

    This Killer Is running scarred, ( HIS PHOTO OUT EVERY WHERES) He knows in time he will be caught, dead or alive only time they will get him, The man that died His friends or family will hunt him(THE KILLER) down more likely, so sad that the WORLD IS SO SO EVIL..

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