PNP creates national body to investigate killings of local execs
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has directed the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) to spearhead a national group which would investigate the killings of local executives.
“I have designated the Director for Investigation and Detective Management […] to constitute and head a National Investigation Task Group that will closely monitor and facilitate national level coordination of all investigative efforts by the different PNP Units, Offices and SITGs involved in the investigation of incidents of involving LCEs,” Albayalde said on Monday.
DIDM Director Elmo Francis Sarona will head the group, which will focus on the recent assassination of city and municipal mayors and vice mayors, especially the case of Mayor Mariano Blanco of Ronda, Cebu.
“Of priority concern are the recent deaths of Ronda, Cebu Mayor Mariano Blanco and Vice Mayor John Ungab, Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote, and Trece Martires City Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan,” Albayalde added.
Ronda was killed by four unidentified gunmen on Wednesday, while he was sleeping inside the mayor’s office of the municipal hall. His death came seven months after the killing of Ronda Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab, who happens to be his nephew.
According to the PNP chief, the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) are considering politics as a possible angle for the killing.
“The SITG investigating the murder of Mayor Blanco is closely looking into politics as possible motive for the murder, although other possibilities are also being carefully looked into as suggested by strong leads and significant findings,” Albayalde said.
On July 2, Halili was shot from afar, about 100 meters away, during the Tanauan government’s flag raising ceremony. His death was caught in different videos, which went viral on social media.
After a day, Bote was killed by assailants aboard motorcycles. Then, on the Saturday of that week, Lubigan was shot dead in front of a hospital. /je
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