Senior Supt. Franklin Moises Mabanag, Isabela police director, said investigators were looking into politics “as the strongest lead” behind the murder although he stressed that there was no election-related violence in the past in Maconacon, one of the three towns isolated from the rest of Isabela by the Sierra Madre mountain range and accessible only by plane or boat.
Mabanag said one of the arrested suspects was a Maranao.
He said they are probing if the suspect has links to one of the political opponents of Domingo, who was seeking second term.
“Her opponent is a converted Muslim and one of those arrested is a Maranao,” Mabanag said.
Maconacon Councilor Valentino Liberato, Domingo’s ally, said they had advised the mayor to get at least two bodyguards during the election period but she declined, saying that she had no enemies.
Domingo was shot and killed on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. outside the Park Ville Apartelle in Quezon City.
Her driver-bodyguard, Bernard Plasos, was confined at the East Avenue Medical Center for a bullet wound on the leg.