La Union police forms task group to probe ambush

BALAOAN, La Union — The La Union Police Provincial Office (PPO) on Thursday formed a special investigation task group (SITG) to probe the ambush of Mayor Aleli Concepcion and her father, Vice Mayor Al-Fred Concepcion.
Senior Supt. Ricardo Layug Jr., police provincial director of La Union, in a radio interview on Thursday, said witnesses told investigators that four assailants onboard a Toyota Rav 4 were responsible for the Wednesday ambush.
Mayor Aleli Concepcion and vice mayor Al-Fred Concepcion, together with their aide Mike Ulep among others, were aboard a Toyota Innova van and Hyundai Starex van on their way to the municipal hall a hundred meters away from their house when the suspects fired at them at 8:10 a.m..
Ulep died on the spot, while the Concepcion father and daughter were rushed to Balaoan District Hospital. They were later transferred to another hospital but vice mayor Al-fred eventually died.
Layug also disclosed that at 9:15 a.m. on the same day, an informant reported that some men transferring materials from a Toyota Rav4 to a different vehicle were spotted in San Juan.
“Two policemen on a motorcycle immediately proceeded to the area ahead of our mobile patrol since they are nearby to verify the information. Upon arrival at the area, they spotted the Rav4 but the suspects fired at them, wounding our two policemen. One of the policemen said he was able to identify the suspects. They are still being treated at the moment,” he said.
Investigators recovered M16, calibre .45 and 9-mm slugs from the crime scene.
Gunshot markings on the front of the recovered Rav4 was reported during the command conference  Wednesday, said Layug.
“We cannot yet tell if there was exchange of gunshots between the convoy of the Concepcions and the suspects since the company of the Concepcions are still in the hospital. We are waiting for their physician’s advice for us to interview them about what really went on that day and why they are part of the convoy,” he said.
Layug further said the police is looking at all angles, including politics, personal life and business in order to solve the ambush.
He added that the victims are not on the “narco-list”, which refers to a list of politicians involved in illegal drug trade.
“We are profiling all the personalities involved in this ambush,” Layug said.
He also said the Balaoan chief of police has already issued a memorandum to all business establishments around the area to give footages of their closed circuit television cameras to aid the investigation.
All police in the province were also given instructions to conduct checkpoints but on different time and locations, he added.
Layug also urged other witnesses to share information to the police.
“If you are worried for your personal security, you could go to me personally or the chief of police in Balaoan. We need the help of our residents, for them to be vigilant, in order to maintain peace and order in our province,” he noted. Hilda Austria/