PHILIPPINE National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde has given the Talisay City Police and Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) two weeks to solve the gun attack that wounded San Fernando town Mayor Lakambini Reluya and killed her husband Ricardo Jr. and two others.
Albayalde said he will relieve CPPO Director Manuel Abrugena and Talisay City Police Station Chief Marlu Conag from their posts if they fail to solve the incident within two weeks.
As of Wednesday, January 23, Albayalde said police still have no leads.
“Sa ngayon wala pa tayong persons of interest or lead. Kinukuha palang nung mga investigators ‘yung CCTV footage sa area,” he added.
(As of now, we don’t have persons of interest or leads. We are still trying to get copies of the CCTV footage in the area.)
Albayalde said the mayor, who is being treated at a local hospital for gunshot wounds, expressed belief that the attack was politically motivated.
“Ang tinitignang anggulo pulitika talaga. Nag-sabi na rin si mayora ang belief n’ya politically motivated talaga,” he said.
(We are looking at politics as motive. The mayor has said that it was politically motivated.)
The attack occurred just a few weeks after the Reluya couple revealed that they were in a kill list drawn up by mayoralty candidate and businessman Ruben Feliciano.
Albayalde said that aside from the creation of a Special investigation Task Group on the Reluya case, he has also instructed Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Amador Corpus to take part in the investigation.
“Remember ‘yung Batocabe nga tinira natin in less than two weeks. Kung talagang tatrabahuhin mo kaya naman kung talagang tutukan mo ang isang bagay. Also if you will use your fertile imagination and initiative, pwede at ito ang gusto nating mangyari,” he said.
(Remember, we cracked the Batocabe case in less than two weeks. If we focus, we can do this. This is what we want to happen.)
Albayalde was referring to the killing of Ako Bicol party-list representative Rodel Batocabe on December 22 in Daraga, Albay. About a week after the killing, some of the suspects surrendered and identified the alleged mastermind as Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo.
Albayalde also ordered the Cebu police to beef up the security being provided to Reluya and her security aides, Giovani Perez and Tolentin Jefer, who also survived the attack and are now undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
Around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22, Reluya, her husband and their companions were traversing Barangay Linao, Talisay City when three men in a Toyota Innova fired at the mayor’s van using M16 rifles.
The mayor, Perez and Jefer survived the attack while Ricardo, the driver Allan Bayot, and San Fernando local economic, investments and promotions officer Ricky Monterona were killed on the spot.
The mayor’s husband was the village chairman of Barangay Panadtaran and the president of the Association of Barangay Councils. (SunStar Philippines)