PROBERS CLOSE TO IDENTIFYING CEBU MAYOR’S ATTACKERS
ABC PREXY. The remains of Association of Barangay Council (ABC) president Ricardo "Nonoy" Reluya (standing, holding the microphone), now lie at the San Fernando Sports Complex, but will be brought to Dipolog City where he is set to be buried. (File photo from the Facebook page of the Mayor's Action Team of San Fernando)
CEBU CITY -- With one more week to complete the investigation as directed by Philippine National Police (PNP) hierarchy, the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Reluya on Tuesday said they will soon identify the attackers of San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya.
The mayor survived the ambush but her husband, Association of Barangay Council president, Ricardo Reluya was killed in the attack.
As this developed, members of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB-7) of the PNP were deployed to San Fernando with instruction to secure the barangays.
Supt. Virgilio Bayon-on, SITG spokesperson, told the Philippine News Agency in a phone interview that the investigators have secured affidavits from the mayor, her two staff, Giovanni Perez and Tolentin Jefer, who were also injured in the ambush, and several others who witnessed the incident.
“Nagkinahanglan pa ta og dugang affidavits aron malig-on gyud ang kaso (We need more affidavits to bolster the case),” Bayon-on said. “We will identify the suspects soon.”
According to him, SITG Reluya formed by Police Regional Office-7 (Central Visayas) Regional Director, Chief Supt. Debold Sinas after the gruesome incident, is determined to finish the investigation within the two-week time frame given by PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde last January 23.
“The regional director is seeing positive developments in the investigation. Our SITG commander is also determined to finish it within the period set by the higher ups,” Bayon-on said in Cebuano. “The SITG may ask for extension if we cannot come up something within the two weeks period.”
Bayon-on said Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena, Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) director, ordered the augmentation of police personnel in the town, aside from RMFB-7 personnel.
“We have ordered the town police to set up checkpoints not only in San Fernando but also in some neighboring towns to deter another violent incident,” Bayon-on said. “CPPO director (Abrugena) does not want any more attack involving government officials in San Fernando,” he added.
Meanwhile, the body of Ricardo Reluya is scheduled to be brought to Dipolog city on Wednesday.
The family of the slain ABC president, through his elder sister, Melissa Reluya-Ruperez, said they are hoping that the investigators could soon identify the mastermind of the ambush.
On Monday, Mayor Reluya called for justice for her slain husband and requested residents of San Fernando to wear black in visiting the wake at the San Fernando Sports Complex in Barangay Poblacion.
“Let us not let fear and evil overshadow the light in us. Let us march forward to seek justice for our colleagues and for our beloved town -- San Fernando,” she said in her post on Facebook. (PNA)