Task group to probe ambush on Cagayan vice mayor, 5 aides
SANTIAGO CITY — Police in the Cagayan Valley region have created a special investigation task group to speed up the investigation on the killing of Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda of Cagayan province’s Aparri town and five others ambushed on Sunday morning.
In a statement, Police Brigadier General Percival Rumbaoa, Cagayan Valley police chief, said various cop units from the region, including those in Aparri and Nueva Vizcaya’s Bagabag town, where the ambush took place, were tapped to form the task group.
Alameda and his five aides, including a cousin, were on their way to Pasay City in Metro Manila to attend the 27th Vice Mayors’ League national convention and election of officers when waylaid in Barangay Baretbet at 8:45 a.m.
The initial investigation showed that the armed men were clad in police uniforms and wore masks.
The police said the assailants also used a white Mitsubishi Adventure with a red license plate number SFN 713, indicating that it was a government car.
The killers reportedly barricaded the section of street in front of MV Duque Elementary School, and opened fire on Alameda’s black Hyundai Starex van when it arrived, causing the victims to die on the spot.
Alameda’s slain companions were his cousin and driver, John Duane Alameda, 46; and his aides, Alexander delos Angeles, 47; Alvin Abel, 48; Abraham Ramos Jr., 48; and Ismael Nanay, all residents of Aparri.
Rumbaoa denied that the culprits were policemen, and vowed to arrest the armed group responsible for the slaying.
“The police force will not stop until those behind this heinous crime are captured,” Rumbaoa said.
In an interview on Monday, Major Oscar Abrogena, Bagabag police chief, said the alleged getaway vehicle of the killers was found on Sunday afternoon abandoned and burned at Barangay Uddiawan in Nueva Vizcaya’s Solano town, some 19 kilometers from the crime scene.
The burning of the getaway vehicle could be an attempt by the killers to discard evidence that would be linked to them, Abrogena said.
He said they had coordinated with the Land Transportation Office to trace the owner of the car based on its chassis and engine numbers.
“We would trace the registered owner, and in case it was sold, we would look for the last buyer. This will help in the investigation,” Abrogena said.
The initial red plate was traced to a pickup car owned by a school in Nueva Vizcaya, which indicated that it could be fake.
Abrogena also asserted that the killers were “not real policemen” and that the supposed police uniforms they wore were only used as a disguise.
He said a massive hot pursuit operation was underway to arrest the armed group.
The Cagayan chapter of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines condemned the killings.
In a separate interview, Tuguegarao City Vice Mayor Bienvenido de Guzman, the league’s chapter president, described the ambush as “dastardly acts” of the killers.
He asked witnesses to come out and help authorities in the investigation.
De Guzman described Alameda as “a person with passion and commitment to serving his constituents.”
Alameda is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, who is a former Aparri councilor, and their two children.
In 2010, Alameda was first elected as vice mayor for two consecutive terms until 2016. In 2016, he ran for mayor but lost. He was again elected vice mayor in 2019.
Alameda was reelected in the May 2022 elections and would have served until 2025. INQ
Aparri vice mayor, 5 others killed in Nueva Vizcaya ambush
No PNP members involved in Cagayan vice mayor ambush, police force …
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