AGOO, La Union – National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police investigators are exerting all efforts to unmask the mastermind in the assassination of former La Union 2nd district Rep. Eufranio “Franny” Eriguel who was gunned down during a “miting de avance” in Barangay Capas here on May 12.
Senior Superintendent Reynaldo Tamondong, chief of the regional investigation and detective management division of the Ilocos Police Regional Office, told mediamen that the contents of the cellular phone seized from one of the suspects, Felizardo Villanueva, alias Rambo, are now being validated by the PNP’s anti-cybercrime division.
Tamondong said that Villanueva, a losing candidate for barangay chairman in Capas and former Federation president of the Liga ng mga Barangay in Agoo, served as the guide and look out for the gunmen.
A source from the camp of the slain solon’s widow, Representative Sandra Young-Eriguel, said that judging from their voices, there were two provincial politicians in conversation with Villanueva through his cellular phone before the killing.
Villanueva’s cellular phone allegedly contained vital information for the identification of those involved in the crime, particularly the mastermind.
Lawyer Angelito Magno, NBI regional director, said they are conducting their own investigation but could not reveal information yet about the ongoing probe.
“We are probing all angles in the incident and we are exerting all efforts to identify all the perpetrators,” Magno said.
Rep. Eriguel has filed a resolution at the House of Representatives for the conduct of a congressional inquiry into her husband’s death.
Initial investigation said that the former solon was delivering a speech when one of the gunmen shot him while his two aides, Bong Tubiera and Bobby Ordinario, were killed and separately mowed by two unidentified killers.
Tamondong said the suspects allegedly used M16, M14, caliber 45, and caliber 9MM based on empty shells recovered at the crime scene.
The shooting happened at around 7 p.m. The suspects arrived in the barangay aboard a black Mitsubishi Montero and a white Toyota Innova, and sped away after the killing.
It was learned that “Franny” was set to run in the 2019 election for a comeback term as representative in the 2nd District of the province.
“The family believes that the murder of Franny was politically-motivated. I respectfully appeal to President Duterte to help fast–track the investigation on the murder of my husband. This cowardly act should not be tolerated,” Rep. Eriguel said.
Meanwhile, Patrick Manabat, one of the eight wounded supporters of the Eriguels, died on Wednesday at the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in San Fernando City.
Seven others were also injured in the incident and some of them are still undergoing treatment at the hospital. Jun Elias/Northbound Philippines News