PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde has announced the creation of a National Investigation Task Group that will oversee the probe into the recent spate of killings of local chief executives (LCEs), some of them linked to illegal drug trafficking.
“On the matter of recent murders of local chiefs executive, I have designated The Director for Investigation and Detective Management, Police Director Elmo Francis Sarona, to constitute and head a National Investigation Task Group that will closely monitor and facilitate national level coordination of all investigative efforts by the different PNP Units, Offices and SITGs involved in the investigation of incidents of involving LCEs,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Albayalde said that of priority concern are the recent deaths of Ronda, Cebu Mayor Mariano Blanco and Vice Mayor John Ungab, Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote and Trece Martires City Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan.
“The SITG investigating the murder of Mayor Blanco is closely looking into politics as possible motive for the murder. Although other possibilities are also being carefully looked into as suggested by strong leads and significant findings,” the PNP chief said.
He also said that the killing of the officials is a cause of concern for the PNP. “There is no reason to say it is not a cause for alarm but we should be concerned. Whether they are included in the narco-list or not, their deaths should be investigated,” he said.