MANILA A dispute over a PHP96-million government project to promote tourism in Nueva Ecija is the motive behind the murder of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija mayor Ferdinand Bote, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.
Speaking to newsmen, Police Regional Office 3 director Chief Supt. Amador Corpus said the leadership of the local Iglesia ni Cristo church coordinated with them closely in identifying the persons, who used the vehicle seen in security camera footage entering the INC compound shortly after the murder.
"We worked in close coordination with them and clearly, they emphasized that they do not condone such acts," Corpus pointed out, adding that one of the masterminds live close to the INC chapel.
The PNP identified the mastermind as contractor Christian Saquilabon who was supposedly aggrieved over the implementation of the PHP96-million project to further develop the Minalungao Convergence Park Zone a popular tourist destination in Nueva Ecija located in General Tinio town.
Bote's family is also said to be in the construction business.
PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Chief Supt. Roel Obusan said they will formalize indictments by Tuesday and will seek a hold departure order from the Bureau of Immigration on other suspects still at large.
Two of the suspects under police custody, Florencio Suarez and Roberto Gumatay, were arrested last week on board a beige-colored Toyota Avanza, the getaway car used in the crime, at Andaya Highway in Camarines Sur.
Seized from the two were .45 caliber pistols, a Colt and an Amrscor Hi-Cap, which police said was used in Bote's murder.
Corpus said the gunmen were paid PHP25,000 for the murder of Bote. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency