PNP chief orders probe of La Union mayor slay, police escort and driver

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union – Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has ordered the creation of a special investigation task force to probe the ambush-slay last Monday of Sudipen town Mayor Alexander Buquing, his police escort and driver and the wounding of his wife Vice Mayor Wendy Joy Buquing.

Senior Superintendent Ricardo Layug Jr, La Union Police Director, said that the task force, beside speeding up the investigation, will determine the real motive of the multiple killings.

The composition of the task force was not disclosed.

Sources said that the killing might be related to politics and construction business, particularly the quarrying operations along the Amburayan River which is mostly controlled by the Sudipen municipal government. Sudipen is La Union’s most northern town, sharing the river’s resources with Tagudin, Ilocos Sur’s southernmost town.

Buquing is allegedly preventing other entities to quarry sand and gravel in the area, especially construction firms owned by his political rivals.

Layug said Buquing is not included in the Duterte administration’s list of narco-politicians.

Councilor Melvin Macusi, an ally of the slain Mayor, said Buquing and his wife have not been receiving death threats.

Macusi said they just joined the couple hours later before the incident at the wake of a municipal employee in Barangay Ipet.

He said there are plans for him to be the running mate of Buquing in the 2019 elections.

Buquing’s police escort PO2 Rolando Juanbe and driver Boni Depdepen were killed while his wife was injured after they were ambushed by an unidentified suspects at around 6:40 p.m. Monday in Barangay Cadapli, in the nearby town of Bangar.

The Mayor was declared dead on arrival at the Southern Ilocos Sur District Hospital in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur due to gunshot wounds on his head and body along with Juanbe.

The Vice Mayor and Depdepen were rushed to the Lorma Medical Center in San Fernando City for treatment. However, Depdepen died later while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Boquing’s group was onboard a Toyota Hi-lux on their way home to Barangay Castro in Sudipen when they were attacked by the suspects armed with M16 rifle. Jun Elias/