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19 March 2010

A member of the bar in Pangasinan

(c) copyright

Dante B. Untalan

gunned down and killed

in Cacaritan San Carlos City on his way to office from a hearing in Urbiztondo town.


Source :   



Dante B. Untalan was brutally killed by two unidentified suspects riding in tandem in a "white" motorcycle March 19, at around 11:45am in Cacaritan San Carlos City on his way to office from a hearing in Urbiztondo town.

Dante Untalan, 59, a native of Villasis town but residing in Barangay Malibong, Urbiztondo, worked as a lawyer at Public Attorney’s Office (PAO). He was going to the Justice Hall Building in Barangay Pagal aboard a for-hire tricycle when the incident happened.

The victim was reported to have just attended a court hearing in Urbiztondo town when he was fired upon by one of two unidentified men riding on the motorcycle tailing the tricycle from behind.

It was learned that although chief of PAO in San Carlos City, Untalan does not own a car and take public means of transport to and from his office.

Untalan, who was the lone passenger of the motorized tricycle, driven by one Kim Peter Marquez, 21, of Barangay Payar, San Carlos, sprawled in the side car of the tricycle and bathed in a pool of his own blood.

The victim suffered 10 gunshot wounds in different parts of his body, nine of which found their mark in the victim’s back and one on the head.

He died on the spot but despite this, responding policemen still rushed him to the Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physician.

Investigators said the gunmen, who were wearing black jackets, used a cal. 45 pistol as evidenced by several empty shells and slugs found at the crime scene.

Politics was immediately suspected as the possible motive of the killing as they theorized the killing could be the work of guns-for-hire.

However, it was learned that although Untalan is not a politician, his wife is an incumbent barangay chairman in Urbiztondo town and is reportedly running for mayor.

It was learned that the family of the victim was reported more inclined to believe that the killing could be work-related as Untalan is defending poor litigants enmeshed in possible land dispute with opulent local landlords.

Lawyers in Pangasinan immediately denounced the incident and called for a swift investigation in order to bring the perpetrators and the mastermind before the bar of justice.

They said the killing of Untalan could have been at least avoided had the Commission on Elections granted the petition of PAO lawyers for exemption from the gun ban in this election.

Some observers believe that the lawyer from Brgy. Malibong Urbiztondo was being followed from the previous hearing he has attended in Urbiztondo. Since he is fond of commuting on his way to his office in San Carlos, they waited for a place where there will be no or very few witnesses.

From Roxas Street to the Ednas Shool, he was allegedly monitored. Police recovered two empty slugs along the road which was believed to be the first two shots but failed. Then in Cacaritan, when the suspects were able to close up from behind, the gunman shot Atty. Untalan.

His shots were grouped, mostly at the back but were fatal enough to ensure his death and most of the bullets exited his body leaving back and frontal wounds.

Police officers have yet to determine the motive for his killing which either have to do with his work or if it was politically related because the lawyer is a known staunch supporter of former Mayor Abelardo Arambulo in Urbiztondo.

Investigators are also looking for a possible link of Untalan's killing to the murder of a school principal in Urbiztondo who was shot to death in Basista town.

Colleagues from the Public Attorneys Office in San Carlos and the entire Region 1 are beleaguered for losing one good lawyer, condemned such act and are crying for justice for Atty. Dante B. Untalan.


Lawyer Feliciano Bautista, national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, who is a former mayor of Santa Barbara, called for an immediate resolution to the killing of Untalan.

Bautista also rallied his fellow lawyers to come together and denounce the grisly incident that befell on a member of the bar in Pangasinan




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