Drugs, politics eyed behind murder of Maguindanao town mayor
MANILA, Philippines — The murder of a Maguindanao town mayor in Manila on Monday night might be linked to either illegal drugs or politics, police said on Tuesday.
Capt. Henry Navarro, chief of the Manila Police District (MPD) homicide section said these angles are being eyed by investigators on the killing of Sultan Sumagka town (formerly known as Talitay) Mayor Abdul Wahab Sabal.
“Isa ‘yun [drugs] sa tinitingnan namin sa ginagawa naming (That’s one the angles we are looking at in our) investigation,” he said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
Asked for other angles in the case police are looking into, Navarro said politics is also another possible motive.
Sabal had just alighted from a Toyota Fortuner sports utility vehicle with his wife and a police escort and were about to check-in at a hotel when an unidentified gunman opened fire at 10:02 p.m. Monday. He died on the spot, while his wife Mohanna and the police escort were unharmed.
In September 2016, Sabal, who was then Sultan Sumagka vice mayor, was arrested by the then Anti-Illegal Drugs Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as he stepped out of the Awang Airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat town.
Sabal and his elder brother, former Talitay Mayor Montasir Sabal, initially surrendered to the local police after they were tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as narco-politicians, or politicians having links with the illegal drug trade. They also later appeared before then PNP chief and now Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa at Camp Crame.
Aside from illegal drug charges, Abdul Wahab Sabal also faced a case for illegal possession of firearms and explosives together with his wife, bodyguard Nasser Maulana, and driver Norodin Abas.
He was also among the 46 politicians included in the updated “narcolist” released by Duterte in March 2019.
The Sabal brothers also earlier denied being involved in the September 2, 2016 Davao City night market blast that killed 14 people and wounded at least 70 others.
Edited by MUF
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