MANILA, Philippines – The alleged Toyota Hilux used by the killers of Trece Martires City Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan was found by local police in Maragondon town in Cavite.
The vehicle was found tilted over the Mabaco-Pantihan Bridge in Barangay Tulay B, around 26 kilometers from where Lubigan was shot dead in front of the Korean Hospital in Trece Martires.
According to the Trece Martires police report, the vehicle was found at around 7 am on Wednesday, July 11, after a student on his way to school called the attention of barangay officials, who then phoned the police.
Police also said the position of the vehicle suggests that whoever drove it may have tried to dispose of it in the murky river beneath the bridge.
The vehicle no longer bore a license plate or conduction sticker, making it harder to track the owner.
So far, police are pursuing the angle that Lubigan's killing was politically motivated. He had revealed his plan to run for mayor of Trece Martires in 2019 just a day before he was gunned down.
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.