Bukidnon mayor’s slay case moved to new task group

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Friday, July 4, 2014


THE investigation of the killing of Impasug-ong town mayor Mario Okinlay has been moved to the Regional Task Group for Elected Government Officials (RTG-EGO) from the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) that initially handled the probe on July 2, the day Okinlay died.

PSSupt. Pedro Austria, regional director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in northern Mindanao, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Thursday evening that motives on the shooting of Okinlay could not be determined yet until every person who witnessed the shooting could give their statements.

“We couldn’t give out any motive until everyone who witnessed the shooting would be able to give their testimonies. Let us wait until the investigation progresses deeper and we will bring out the information,” Austria said by phone Thursday evening.

Asked if the New People’s Army has been verified as the perpetrators, Austria said it could not be told yet since the investigation is still ongoing, but the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division (4ID) has already accused the NPA rebels as responsible for Okinlay’s slay.

The military said the NPA rebels warned Okinlay they were out to kill the mayor.

Major Christian Uy, spokesperson of 4ID, said three Maoist rebels from SECOM 89 of Northcentral Mindanao Regional Committee shot and killed Okinlay.

“The NPA doesn’t want Mayor Okinlay to bring pro-people services in his barangays since any progress in those areas will render the insurgents’ struggle irrelevant that’s why they killed him,” Uy told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday.

Okinlay together with more than 90 persons were on their way home from Barangay Bontongon after holding “Hatud Serbisyo” where medical, dental, birth registration among other services are delivered. There were two trucks that led the convoy of motorcycles. Okinlay drove a motorcycle alone but was escorted by military, police and the staff of Impasug-ong municipality since he went to Bontongon to render his program “Hatud Serbisyo.”

Lt. Col. Romualdo Raymund B Landingin, commanding officer of 8th Infantry Battalion, who was also present during the incident, immediately ordered his troops to conduct pursuit operation to the retreating NPA rebels and facilitated the immediate transport of Okinlay to the nearest hospital on board a military ambulance.

Okinlay’s remains lie in state at his residence in Impasug-ong; His wake will be transferred to the municipality’s town gymnasium to allow public viewing on July 7.

New mayor

Also on Thursday, Impasug-ong vice-mayor Anthony Uy took oath as the municipality’s new mayor while Okinlay’s brother, councilor Democrito “Dodo” Okinlay as the new vice-mayor at a hotel in Malaybalay City in the presence of Bukidnon governor Jose Maria Zubiri.

The oath-taking was held in private.

Okinlay’s wife, Julia, also sits as a councilor after her term as the mayor. Okinlay had served a full-term as mayor in Impasug-ong; Julia ran for mayor while Okinlay sought election for councilor; In 2013, he had re-election bid for mayor and won.

At press time, the National Democratic Front in northcentral Mindanao has not owned up the killing of Okinlay although it was reported that the rebels called a radio in Bukidnon and owned the killing. (Grace Cantal-Albasin)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 04, 2014.

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