EPD chief: Motive behind cop’s slay on Edsa may be ‘work-related’
MANILA, Philippines — The motive behind the assassination of Senior Master Sgt. Solomon Cugay could be “work-related,” the Eastern Police District (EPD) said Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan, chief of the EPD, pointed out that Cugay was previously assigned at the Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs unit in Metro Manila where he helped put behind bars drug pushers and drug lords. These drug lords could have wanted to retaliate, said Tambungan.
“He made a lot of arrests. He caught a lot of big-time drug pushers. It’s a possibility that the motive was work-related,” Tambungan, speaking in Filipino, told reporters in a press conference. “You know how well-connected drug lords are, these big-time drug pushers. They have the capability.”
Cugay was shot dead while aboard a motorcycle on Edsa near Connecticut Street in Greenhills, San Juan City, on Tuesday at around 3:30 p.m.
Initial investigation revealed that two motorcycle-riding gunmen, both wearing helmets shot Cugay.
Seven empty shells and three deformed slugs from .45-caliber pistol were recovered at the scene.
The EPD Crime Laboratory also revealed that Cugay had three bullet wounds at the back, one on the right elbow, and two on the left shoulder, with the slugs piercing the left chest.
Tambungan believed, however, that Cugay’s killing was an “isolated” case and should not be not a cause for concern despite its nearness from the Camp Crame, headquarters of the Philippine National Police.
“I think this is an isolated case. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything just because it happened near Crame. It’s not that near,” he said.
He added that there was no political angle to the assassination of Cugay nor was it related to the upcoming midterm elections in May.
“Here at the EPD, that’s not an area of concern, not even intense political rivalry. This has nothing to do with politics,” Tambungan said.
In a press conference, Col. Ariel Fulo, chief of the San Juan City Police Station, said they were unable to get CCTV footage of the incident.
“The CCTV camera in the area was under maintenance. So it wasn’t working. So we didn’t get any CCTV footage,” Tambungan said.
Gen. Oscar Albayalde, the PNP chief, earlier revealed that Cugay was included in the drugs watchlist of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Albayalde clarified, however, that Cugay had been cleared of involvement in illegal drugs, citing information that the slain officer had not been monitored engaging in any illegal activity since 2017. /atm
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