Albayalde: Reward not needed to solve Cebu mayor’s ambush
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde is confident that investigators can solve the ambush of San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya even without the need to reward witnesses.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Albayalde said good investigation and not rewards could reveal the perpetrators behind the ambush, as in the murder of Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe solved in less than two weeks.
“Good intelligence, investigation, imagination, initiative [can solve the case],” Albayalde said on Thursday.
Albayalde said probers had already established a lead on Batocabe’s murder even before the P50 million reward was offered to witnesses. The investigation later identified Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as the alleged mastermind of the assassination.
“We are not after the reward actually. That’s why in this Cebu case we are not asking for any reward,” he said.
Albayalde, however, said that the police would welcome should Reluya’s family and friends offer a reward for a witness in the case.
“It’’s really welcome so that we will be able to motivate witnesses just like what happened in
[the case of] Batocabe, we have a witness there,” he said.
Reluya was onboard a van in Barangay Linao, Talisay City when she was ambushed at around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The mayor survived the ambush, but her husband, Ricardo Reluya Jr., and two others were killed on the spot. Two others were injured in the attack.
Albayalde said investigators are looking at politics as the motive behind the ambush.
Reluya is seeking reelection in the May polls and is set to challenge her sole opponent, businessman Ruben Feliciano.
Albayalde ordered the director of the Cebu Provincial Police Office and the chief of police of Talisay City to solve the case within two weeks after the incident. He said they would be relieved from their posts if they fail to meet the deadline. /muf
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