PNP forms team to probe killings of local officials
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has formed special national team to investigate the recent spate of killings of local chief executives, police chief Director Oscar Albayalde announced on Monday, September 10.
The national investigation task group will be formed and headed by Investigation and Detective Management chief, Police Director Elmo Francis Sarona.
What will the group do? The group will be in charge of closely monitoring and coordinating investigations of different PNP units, offices, and special investigation task groups involved in probing the killing of local officials. (READ: Mayors, vice mayors killed under Duterte gov’t)
Albayalde said among the priority concerns of the group were the recent killings of the following officials:
- Ronda, Cebu Mayor Mariano Blanco III and Vice Mayor John Ungab;
- Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili;
- General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote;
- Trece Martires City Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan.
In Blanco’s case, Albayalde said the police was looking into “other possibilities” behind the mayor's death, "as suggested by strong leads and significant findings." This, alongside "politics" eyed as the possible motive behind the murder of the mayor.
Like Blanco, local officials killed recently were shot by unidentified gunmen. At least 6 vice mayors and 11 mayors slain since July 2016. – Rappler.com