Police form task force to probe NAIA ambush

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Friday, December 20, 2013

THE National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) formed a special task force to probe the shooting death of four people including a mayor of Labangan town in Zamboanga del Sur at the arrival area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 before noon on Friday.

NCRPO chief Police Director Carmelo Valmoria said that based on their initial findings, Talumpa was the main target of the unidentified motorcycle-riding suspects who were allegedly in police uniform.

Valmoria said the incident was a handiwork of professional killers based on the assessment made by the PNP Aviation Security Group.

Aside from the mayor, his wife Lea, nephew Salipudin Talumpa and 18-month-old Phil Thomas Lirasan were killed in the ambush.

Dr. Rolando Cortez, EAMC medical director, said five people who were injured in same incident were brought to East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City for medical treatment.

Amalia Lirasan, 58, who sustained gunshot wound in the right eye and rib, is the grandmother of the 18-month-old baby. Another victim three-year-old Dianne Uy sustained head injuries while a 26-year-old female sustained injuries in the chest. A woman was also brought to the hospital for treatment after being shot in her arms.

"Conscious siya (referring to the three year old girl) at walang apparent brain damage. 'Yung bata ang pinaka-kritikal ang lagay," Cortez said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II meantime expressed sadness over the gruesome incident.

"Ikinalulungkot natin na naganap ang walang saysay na karahasang ito sa gitna ng ating paghahanda para sa pagdiriwang ng Kapaskuhan," he said.

He then reiterated his directive to the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to maintain visibility in the areas mostly visited by people nowadays such as shopping malls, airports, seaports, churches, bus terminal and public markets.

"Inaasahan ko na hihigpitan ng ating mga pulis ang pagbabantay sa mga pampublikong lugar para masiguro na laging ligtas sa kapahamakan ang ating mga kababayan," Roxas said.

Malacanang condemned the ambush of the Zamboanga del Sur town mayor.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the police to conduct hot pursuit operations against the suspects.

"We condemn this blatant act of violence that has killed an innocent bystander and imperiled the safety of citizens in the airport," he said.

The government will adopt necessary measures to ensure the citizens' safety especially this holiday season, Coloma added.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano considers the killing of Talumpa as a "black eye" to the image of the country, as he hit the alleged lax security at the NAIA Terminal 3.

"The effect is very negative for Philippine tourism," he said.

Airport managers should take seriously putting security cameras all over the place, he added. Officials earlier admitted that there were no closed-circuit television cameras installed outside the arrival gates of the NAIA Terminal 3. (John Carlo Cahinhinan/Camille P. Balagtas/Third Anne Peralta/SDR/Sunnex)

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