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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) admitted that slain Civil Service Commission (CSC) Cagayan Valley regional director Neil Agustin was on the police drug watchlist.
In a phone interview on Tuesday, September 19, Cagayan provincial police director Warren Tolito said Agustin had surrendered to Tuguegarao police at the height of Oplan Tokhang in August 2016.
Agustin, a lawyer, was killed on Friday, September 15, by still unidentified gunmen.
Police investigators, however, are focusing on work-related motives because of the nature of Agustin’s work.
Tolito explained that Agustin’s office handles cases critical to the appointment of officials and employees in government service.
He said his position has disciplinary, deciding and appointive power.
Tolito added that while the family refused to speak to police, the provincial police have already formed a special investigation task force, composed of the PNP deputy director office, Crime Investigative and Detection Group (CIDG), and the crime laboratory, to fast track the investigation.
Meanwhile, government officials and local groups condemned the killing of Agustin.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cagayan Chapter urged all Cagayano lawyers to change their Facebook profile pictures to a black photo containing the statement of the organization.
Tuguegarao City councilor and ex-officio Cagayan board member Maila Ting-Que said authorities should step in to stop killings in the city.
“Riding in tandem have been lording it over the City for a few years already. Kaliwat kanan na ang patayan. We call on the concerned authorities to step up and do something about the situation. Let us all be vigilant and report suspicious activities and men in the City,” Ting-Que said. – Rappler.com