Cagayan DENR exec killed in attack in her officeBy Melvin Gascon
Inquirer Northern Luzon
Melania Dirain, 46, the DENR forest specialist in Sanchez Mira, was attacked in her office at the DENR compound in Barangay Centro 2 at 7:45 p.m., police said.
Senior Supt. Mao Aplasca, Cagayan police director, said Dirain was talking to Isaias Cereniado, a DENR messenger, when a man, whose face was covered by a scarf, barged inside the office and shot and killed her. The suspect fled on foot.
Police found Dirain’s body on the floor beside her office table.
She had five bullet wounds in the chest, said SPO1 Boy Turingan, the officer on the case.
Cereniado, who witnessed the shooting, was unhurt but in a state of shock, police said.
Turingan could not say if the killing was job-related.
But he said investigators were hopeful that the identity of another person with whom Dirain was meeting at her office on the night she was killed could provide them with a lead.
Benjamin Tumaliuan, the DENR Cagayan Valley director, said Dirain, the first woman in Cagayan Valley to be designated as forest specialist, assumed her post only last month at the Sanchez Mira community environment and natural resources office (Cenro).
A forest specialist is the second highest-ranking officer in a Cenro, whose main task is enforcement of forest protection laws.
The Sanchez Mira Cenro covers the four Cagayan towns of Santa Praxedes, Claveria, Pamplona and Abulug. Illegally cut logs from the nearby province of Apayao pass through Sanchez Mira.