PNP eyes politics behind local officials’ slay

By Inquirer.net July 08,2018

DURANA

After two mayors and one vice-mayor were brazenly killed in a span of a week, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that politics may be a possible motive for all cases, especially since the next elections will be held in less than a year.

“Parang ang unang tentative hypothesis ng ating mga imbestigador ito ay may relation sa pulitika, malapit na ang campaign period,” PNP Spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer on Sunday.
(It appears that the first tentative hypothesis of our investigators is that the killings are related to politics because of the campaign period is near.)

Last Monday, Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas was shot dead from afar during the local government’s flag-raising ceremony.

The following day, Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, was killed inside his car, with at least 18 bullets pumped into his body.

Then on Saturday, Trece Martires, Cavite Vice Mayor Alexander Cruz Lubigan was ambushed.

According to Durana, while there is a trend pointing to election-related violence, this would not stop the police force from working harder to solve and deter crime. Durana also clarified that unlike Halili, Lubigan was not in the PNP’s drug watch list.

He emphasized, however, that the PNP is only a contributor to the list, and that high-level government officials may have more information than they have, which leads them to the observation that the motive for the killings may be “political.”

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