MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) counts 5 suspects in the assassination of Sudipen, La Union Mayor Alexander "Alan" Buquing, the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) ordered to investigate the case announced on Wednesday, October 3.
"Bale po lima ang hinahanap natin (We are looking for 5 suspects)," SITG spokesman Chief Inspector Silverio Ordinado told Rappler in a phone interview.
Mayor Buquing was killed in an ambush in Bangar town on his way home. His driver and police guard were also slain from the encounter. His wife, Sudipen Vice Mayor Wendy Joy Buquing survived after he reportedly shielded her from the bullets with his own body.
Who are the suspects? The suspects remain unidentified but Ordinado said that witness accounts have pointed to one gunman and one driver to have executed the killing.
When the killers aboard their white pickup passed through Barangay Castro, Bangar, Ordinado said 3 other men joined them. He said they could have been lookouts just in case anything went wrong with the attack.
Cops are currently gathering more witness testimonies and are scouting for CCTV camera footages to determine the "escape route" used by the suspects.
Recovered evidence: Ordinado said they recovered 39 empty cartridge cases and one deformed gun slug from the scene of the crime.
Ordinado said the bullet cases were discharged by one 5.56 Caliber armalite—a semi-automatic rifle which allowed quick discharge of bullets.
Cops have set up an appointment with Vice Mayor Buquing, but Ordinado said she has deferred submitting a testimony as she was still in a state of shock.