DOJ: Initial probe shows no link between killings of 3 local execs

MANILA The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday said initial findings of the probe on the recent killings of local officials show that these were unrelated to each other.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has failed to establish interrelation between the murders of Tanauan City, Mayor Antonio Halili, General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote and Trece Martires City, Cavite Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan last week.

"So far (the) initial findings of the NBI show that the incidents seem to be unrelated," Guevarra said in a text message sent to reporters.

Guevarra said he has tasked the NBI to specifically determine if the three cases could be part of the reported destabilization plot against the Duterte administration.

"Yes, (destabilization plot is) among the possible angles," the justice chief said.

Lubigan is the third local government official killed this month, after Halili and Bote. Both killings are still under investigation.

Halili, who was in the government's narco-list, was shot dead while attending a flag-raising ceremony on July 2.

On July 3, Bote was killed in an ambush in Cabanatuan City.

Reports showed that Lubigan, his driver Romulo Guillemer and security aide Romeo Edrinal were onboard a black Toyota Hilux traversing Trece Martires-Indang Road in Barangay Luciano, Trece Martires City when unidentified gunmen fired at them around 2:53 p.m. on Saturday.

Lubigan and Guillemer died on the spot while Edrinal was rushed to General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital and is still in critical condition.

MalacaAang, meanwhile, condemned the killing of Lubigan.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, urged the leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a fair and through investigation and get to the bottom of the crime.

He also called for cooperation to stop the rising number of killings involving local government officials. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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