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. Mal

    @ Richard. Study your American history and see how much of the United States of America was occupied by Spain.

    January 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Richard Allen about leaving a mark.

    January 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. El Norte

    American posters+guns = comedy gold

    January 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chris


    January 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dean

    The kid on the right is looking directly at the killer. I would have said something.

    January 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Libby

    This little boy is finally at rest. His short little life was one of torture and horror.

    January 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lihp

    It's my birthday today.

    January 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lady USA


    January 4, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. J

    When I read blogs, I realize so few people can even write in English anymore, using proper grammar and punctuation. We are in sad shape.

    January 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ed Bailey

    America is no different. My neighbors know how to do people in with more high tech methods.the world is a sinister place that needs desparately to change for the better. Pray if you think it helps.

    January 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Esteban Bernal

    I very much hope they find the criminal(s) responsible for this incident. The stuff we have to put up with the criminal underworld these days, hmph.

    January 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mk

    Has there ever been another case of a shooter POSING for a photo white committing homicide?

    January 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dallas

    To murder him in front of his whole family is extremely cold blooded. That must have been calculated move

    January 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sick and tired!

    Im on my mobil phone and every fricken headline turns out to be a blog! no offence to you remark leavers however I would like to read the story NOT everyones opinion hopefully somebody reads this and can rectifie this issue

    January 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MamaTeeJay

    I am a licensed pistol packing mama, and would only give up my guns when they are pried from my cold, dead hands. I have no criminal record, and haven't had to shoot anyone, YET, but I have had to draw down a few times. My family is safer because I have the ability to protect them. I do advocate safe weapons handling training for everyone in the household if you own guns. I learned @ age 6, treat every gun as though it is loaded, and guns are not to be played with. The way to teach about guns is to demonstrate the destructive power. Learn to respect them instead of fear them.

    January 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lady U.S.A

      YES HERE TO IN MICHIGAN, The way to teach about guns is to demonstrate the destructive power. Learn to respect them instead of fear them.
      I do BELEIVE SAFE weapons handling training for everyone in the household if you own guns. 2 A

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