MANILA — Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Secretary Eduardo Año will recommend the inclusion of the province of La Union on the list of election hotspots for next year’s mid-term polls.
Año made the recommendation after the recent ambush of Mayor Alexander Buquing of Sudipen, his driver, and his bodyguard last Monday.
“So we have to wait for the assessment of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), PNP (Philippine National Police), AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and we will address it through deployment of additional security forces,” Año told reporters on Wednesday.
Buquing is the 11th slain local chief executive under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte but Año said not all mayors killed under the Duterte administration were tied to the illegal drug trade.
“Ang karamihan dito ay politics at personal motive (Most of these are related to politics and personal motive),” he said.
Meanwhile, the PNP has acted on 18 cases of slain mayors and vice mayors nationwide, resolving 13 killing incidents as of Oct. 2, including the killings of Trece Martires City, Cavite Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan and General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote.
Police said the suspects have been identified and charged with criminal cases for these violent attacks.
The NITG, headed by Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), is the highest PNP body for national level coordination of all investigative efforts by PNP units looking into violent attacks committed on local officials.
The DIDM bared that there are still five killings under investigation, including the recent ambush of Buquing.
The PNP is now providing security to Buquing’s wife, Sudipen Vice Mayor Wendy Joy Buquing, the lone survivor in the shooting incident. (PNA)