Mayor denies involvement in vice mayor’s murder

MANILA- Trece Martires City mayor Melandres De Sagun insisted on his innocence Friday in the killing of the town's vice mayor Alexander Lubigan who was gunned down last July 7.

"I am completely innocent of the accusation leveled against me," De Sagun said in his five-page counter affidavit filed before the Department of Justice (DoJ).

"(T)he death of the vice mayor will simply not benefit us, and this horrible crime was committed to benefit someone else and use this incident as a propaganda to destroy the reputation of our family," he underscored and insisted that he was not in the country during the time of the incident.

De Sagun argued that the statement of wtiness Alex Paiton, who said his brother Ariel Paiton told him that De Sagun ordered the murder, should not be given weight. "I vehemently deny the same and this hearsay evidence is very unreliable and untrustworthy and thus devoid of probative value," he said.

Lubigan, along with his driver Romulo Guillemer, were in their car when they were gunned down by unidentified gunmen on board another SUV. Two aides survived the attack. The Cavite Police filed two counts of murder and one count of frustrated murder charges against De Sagun, who was identified by one witness as the alleged mastermind.

Lubigan's relatives said the vice mayor, who was on his third term, wanted to run for mayor in next year's elections, against De Sagun's wife.

Also named in the charges were alleged gunman Ariel Paiton; Luis Abad, Jr., the alleged driver of the getaway vehicle; Maragondon, Cavite municipal councilor Lawrence Arca and Rhonel Bersamina. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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