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Albayalde orders relief of Agoo, La Union police chiefs over Eriguel slay

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has ordered the relief of the provincial director of La Union police and municipal police chief of Agoo over the ambush of former congressman Eufranio Eriguel.

Police Regional Office I regional director Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula confirmed on Monday the relief of Sr. Supt. Henaro Sapiera, provincial director of La Union and Chief Insp. Alfredo Padilla Jr., chief of Agoo police.

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They were replaced by Sr. Supt. Anolfo Rafanan and Chief Insp. Bernabe Oribello, respectively, as officers-in-charge.

“Para naman mabigyan po ng bagong liderato yung La Union ng provincial command kasi gusto naming mapalakas yung liderato niyan, ayaw naming maulit muli yung ganung sitwasyon (Eriguel),” Sapitula said.

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(This is to give the La Union provincial command a new leadership because we want to strengthen it, we don’t want to repeat that incident.)

Sapitula said he could not say yet if the police officers have lapses in their duty that resulted in the assassination of Eriguel, former representative of La Union.

“Titingnan muna natin muna hindi ko muna masasabi kung may lapses sila o wala. Kaya nirelieve muna for the mean time (para) under investigation pa rin, para makita namin (ano nangyari),” he said.

(We have yet to see, I still can’t say if they have lapses or not. That’s why we have relieved them for the mean time to investigate what happened.)

Eriguel and two of his security escorts identified as Bobby Ordinario and Mac Roel Tuvera were at a miting de avance in Barangay Capas on March 12 when none suspects onboard a black Mitsubishi Montero and white Toyota Innova opened fired at them.

One of those injured, Patrick Manabat, died in the hospital last week.

Police nabbed one of the suspects, Felizardo Villanueva alias Rambo, who was a candidate for chairman in the village.

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Eriguel, 67, was reportedly supporting the candidacy of Villanueva’s rival.

Villanueva was charged with four counts of murder while other suspects are still on the run. /vvp

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