The Police Regional Office 7 in Central Visayas has formed a special task group to investigate the spate of killings in Negros Oriental involving elected government officials and other prominent personalities.
Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, told reporters in a press conference at Camp Crame yesterday that PRO 7 has created a Special Investigation Task Groups (SITG) to closely supervise and monitor the six incidents involving elected government officials and other prominent personalities, such as the murder of lawyer Anthony Trinidad, school principal Arthur Bayawa and his sister, Ardale Bayawa, an official of the local Department of Education, former Ayungon town mayor Edsel Enardecido, Canlaon City Councilor Ramon Jalandoni, and Barangay Panubigan Chairman Ernesto Posadas.
On July 24, Trinidad was killed while his wife was wounded in an attack by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Guihulngan City. The following day in the same city, unidentified armed men stormed the house of the Bayawa siblings and gunned them down.
Enardecido and his cousin, Leo, were shot dead in his house at about 2:30 a.m. on July 27. On the same day, Jalandoni and Posadas were killed in separate attacks by still unidentified assailants.
Albayalde also said that PRO-7 director, Brig. Gen. DeboldSinas, had reported that out of 11 shooting incidents that transpired in different areas of Negros Oriental, four cases have already been solved and referred to the Prosecutor’s Office of Dumaguete City.
He added that manhunt operations were continuing for the arrest of seven other identified suspects.
Earlier, the first batch of Special Action Force (SAF) troops assigned to help the local police in anti-criminality and internal security operations after the spate of killings in Negros Oriental, had arrived in the province.
PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, said that placing the province under martial law is not necessary as authorities are in control of the situation.*PNA
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