New Zealander is third foreigner shot dead on Biliran Island in recent times

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The New Zealander lies dead in the street
The scene of today’s killing. Picture via Biliran Island’s Facebook page

Three motorcycle-riding gunmen shot and killed a New Zealander in Naval, Biliran, early this morning (Wednesday, July 26).

Following the killing of Simon Rawlinson, aged 63, town mayor Gerard Espina offered a bounty of 80,000 to track down the killers.

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As of today, he says that two have already been apprehended, while one remains at large. Writing on his Facebook page, he said: “Caught the gunman with the alleged murder weapon. Two down, one more to go. The driver left. I’ll be late. Just wait.”

The alleged lookout has been named as Manuelito Estreller and the gunman as Antonio Rubaro.

The New Zealander lived at Barangay Bato in Maripipi.

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There is no known motive for the killing, but — suggestively — the mayor also wrote on Facebook: “Its early to tell if this is related to the number of reported incidences which involved the gunned person in Maripipi.

“Let’s suspend our speculations. Once we have apprehended the gunmen, we will know the whole story.”

Other foreigners murdered

The killing is the third shooting of a foreigner by gunmen riding in tandem on the Eastern Visayan island in recent times.

In June last year we reported how 74-year-old Henk Nuits, a Dutch businessman, was shot dead by a pillion rider. His 11-year-old son, Jake Henry, was shot in the chest but survived.

Harvey Abrams playing pool
Former US Marine Harvey Abrams who was gunned down on Biliran Island in March this year

Then, in March this year, former US Marine Harvey Abrams was also shot by motorcycle-riding assassins.

In both these previous killings the victims were driving their own vehicles when targeted, while Mr Rawlinson was on foot.

Biliran is one of the smallest provinces of the Philippines, with a population of about 170,000.

UPDATE: Read more about this developing case here and here

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