Cavite police sue Trece Martires mayor for murder of vice mayor

Lian Buan
Cavite police sue Trece Martires mayor for murder of vice mayor
Aside from Trece Martires Mayor Melandres de Sagun, the police also implicated four others in the killing of vice mayor Alex Lubigan

MANILA, Philippines – The Cavite Police filed on Thursday, September 13, a complaint for murder and frustrated murder against Trece Martires Mayor Melandres De Sagun and 4 others over the killing last July of the city’s vice mayor Alex Lubigan.

Lubigan was shot dead on July 7, making him the 5th vice mayor at the time to be killed under the Duterte administration. The number has since gone up to 6 vice mayors, and 11 mayors, slain in the current administration.

(GALLERY: Who are mayors, vice mayors killed under Duterte?)

Aside from De Sagun, also named in the complaint were:

  1. Luis Vasquez Abad Jr
  2. Ariel Fletchetro Paiton
  3. Lawrence “Umbe” Arca
  4. Rhonel Bersamina

The Cavite Police transmitted its complaint to the Prosecutor General on Thursday, attaching the affidavit of Romeo Edrinal who was Lubigan’s securitiy aide and who survived the shooting.

Lubigan’s Toyota Hilux was fired at by assailants on board a black Mitsubishi Montero in front of a hospital on Indang Road, Barangay Luciano in Trece Martires.

According to the Cavite police, Lubigan had told some people of his plans to run for mayor in 2019 a mere days before the killing.

De Sagun’s wife was also reportedly set to run for mayor, pitting them against each other despite being allies in past elections. De Sagun’s camp had earlier denied accusations against the mayor.

Politics was top of mind of the Cavite police when they began investigating the case.

Both Lubigan and Desagun – running mates under the  United Nationalist Alliance partywere hounded by corruption allegations before the killing. They were sued for graft and plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman for millions worth of allegedly irregular infrastructure projects.

The 2016 Commission on Audit (COA) report on Trece Martires also showed millions worth of irregular cash advances, landfill rentals, expansion of cemetery, and purchase of climate change books. With reports from Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.