Iligan mayor faces murder charges over slay try on lawmaker

Bobby Lagsa
Fourteen other suspects face charges over the ambush that hurt congressman Vicente Belmonte and killed 4 of his men in December

MAIN SUSPECT. The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group files murder charges against Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia and 14 others over the the slay try on the city's congressman, Vicente Belmonte.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Authorities on Wednesday, January 21, filed multiple murder and frustrated murder charges against Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia and 14 others for the slay try on Iligan Representative Vicente Belmonte and his staff in December.

The congressman survived the attack, but 4 of his men died. The ambush was carried out while Belmonte’s convoy was on their way to the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.

Belmonte, who chairs the committee on dangerous drugs in the House of Representatives, said he believes the incident was “politically motivated.”

On Wednesday, Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Northern Mindanao, said they filed the cases at the Misamis Oriental Prosecutors Office in Cagayan de Oro.

Tagum said that the cases filed were based on evidence gathered by the CIDG, the Misamis Oriental Provincial Police office, the Special Investigation Task Group Belmonte, Regional Investigation Unit, the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory, PNP Region X, and National Bureau of Investigation Northern Mindanao. 

A provincial prosecutor’s staff, who requested not to be named, confimed their office had received the cases from the CIDG. The office of the provincial prosecutor will form a panel to conduct preliminary investigation. 


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