PNP looking at all angles in La Union mayor slay

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it is looking at all possible angles in the killing of Mayor Alexander Buquing of Sudipen town, La Union.

In a press conference, PNP spokesman, Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., said these include politics, business and personal matters.

“May mga (We have) witnesses’ accounts and physical evidence to solve the case as soon as possible kaya meron tayong (that is why we already have a) special investigation task force,” Durana told reporters.

Based on the report submitted by the Police Regional Office 1, Durana said Buquing is not on the “narco-list”.

He added that the PNP is now providing security to Boquing’s wife, Vice Mayor Joy, the lone survivor in the shooting incident.

“Mabuti na kalagayan ni Vice Mayor Joy. May mga stray wounds siya na natamo. Nagre-recover na ngayon sa hospital sa La Union. Sa ngayon siya ay binibigyan proteksyon ng ating kapulisan doon (because) meron nang banta sa kanyang buhay dahil siya yung (Vice Mayor Joy is now in a stable condition. She sustained stray wounds. She is now recovering in a hospital in La Union. We have provided her protection because there are threats to her life considering that she is the) remaining possible witness,” he said.

Durana said the PNP is committed in uncovering the truth.

Initial investigation showed the shooting incident happened at around 6:45 p.m. Monday along the-provincial road in Barangay Cadali, Bangar, La Union.

The mayor, his wife, driver Boni Depdepen and PO2 Juanbe were in a Toyota Hi-Lux (AEZ-114) when unidentified gunmen onboard a white pick-up with unkown plate number fired upon their vehicle.

The mayor and Juanbe succumbed to multiple gunshots wound on the different parts of their bodies. They were rushed to Ilocos Sur District Hospital where they were declared dead on arrival.

Depdepen was also declared dead on arrival at the Lorma Medical Center in San Fernando, La Union.

Durana said Buquing is the 11th slain local chief executive under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, adding that the number of attacks on mayors and vice mayors usually spike a few months prior to elections.

To prevent these incidents, Durana said PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has directed all police units to intensify operations against private armed groups.

He said the PNP has already formed a national investigation task force to probe on killings against local executives. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA