DENR land investigator gunned down in Surigao Sur

BUTUAN CITY – A special land investigator of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Surigao del Sur city of Bislig was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen Thursday night.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bislig City identified the victim as Joash L. Peregrino, of Brgy. Maharlika, Bislig City, and an employee of the DENR’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).

Police said Peregrino was shot by unidentified gunmen at around 6:15 p.m. in front of G-Mar Commercial at Espiritu St., Brgy. Mangagoy, Bislig City.

The victim was rushed by concerned citizens to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead by the attending physicians, police said.

Police said they found two empty shells and a deformed slug from caliber .45 in the crime scene.

Herzon Gallego, chief of the DENR-13 Information Office, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Friday that Peregrino handled all land conflicts and issues in his area of jurisdiction.

CENRO-Bislig City covers the municipalities of Tagbina, Hinatuan, and Lingig in the province of Surigao del Sur.

Report reaching DENR-13 indicated that Peregrino was heading home from the office with his wife on Thursday when they decided to pass by a convenient store.

When the victim was left alone in his car, the assailants arrived and shot him at close range, the DENR-13 report added.

Peregrino had been working for four years in the DENR at the time of his killing. He is the son of Divina Gracia Peregrino, the retired chief of the Ecosystem Research and Development Division of DENR-13, Gallego said.

Gallego believes the killing of Peregrino is related to his work at CENRO-Bislig City.  Alexander Lopez / PNA –