SOCOT COPS EYE ILLEGAL DRUGS IN VILLAGE EXEC MURDER
Police are eyeing several angles, including illegal drugs, in the killing of a barangay councilor in a village in Polomolok town, South Cotabato province on Wednesday morning.
Supt. Aldrin Gonzales, public information officer of Police Regional Office 12 (Soccsksargen), said Thursday that investigators are looking at a number of possible motives in the murder of Barangay Rubber Councilor Rhod Ubpon.
Gonzales said the village official was taking a bath at about 7:40 a.m. at a water pump just outside his house in Purok 4, Barangay Rubber when shot by four motorcycle-riding gunmen.
The victims' sons Jaffar, 22, and Hiyer, 24, were wounded after being shot while trying to chase the suspects, he said.
"This is still under investigation and we don't have any update yet on the specific motive but the (Polomolok) police station's records showed that the victim had been linked to the illegal drug trade," he said.
Gonzales said Ubpon was classified as a "level 1" drug personality on the drug list of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Ubpon, who was reportedly a former field commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, was the third shooting victim in the area in two days.
Unidentified suspects also gunned down on Wednesday morning tricycle driver identified Nasser Usman, 47, along Dahlia St. in Barangay Poblacion.
On Tuesday, plantation worker Joey Ranes, 34, was shot dead while on his way to work in Barangay Pagalungan, Polomolok.
Supt. Jose Mari Simangan, Polomolok police chief, said Ranes was included on Duterte's drug list.
Polomolok Mayor Honey Matti said she has ordered the police to conduct a deeper investigation into the three murders.
Matti said the incidents appear to be isolated and that authorities remain on top of the security situation in the area. (PNA)