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Police have identities of mayor’s gunmen

By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD

Manila, Philippines – The Southern Police District (SPD) now has the identities of the two gunmen in the killing of Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Ukol Tumog Talumpa at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last Friday.

Three others, Talumpa’s wife and nephew, and an 18-month-old baby boy, were also killed, while five others were wounded in the incident.

SPD director Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte did not disclose the names of Talumpa’s gunmen in order not to jeopardize ongoing police operation to capture them.

“Give us a few (more) days at baka mabulabog pa sila,” Villacorte said.

The SPD did not say if the gunmen were hired killers and refused to give more details.

“We can’t divulge any more intormation. All we can say is that we are working very hard to apprehend them,” Villacorte said. “Kapag positive at nahuli na namin, we immediately call for a presscon,” he added.

Last Friday, the SPD created a special investigation team that will probe the shooting of Talumpa.

Villacorte said that the Special Investigation Task Group is headed by Senior Supt. Billy Beltran, SPD deputy chief for operations.

He said as head of the task group, Beltran is in charge of determining the motive why Talumpa was killed.

Meanwhile, investigators are looking into three possible angles in the killing of Talumpa.

Villacorte said that the killing might have something to do with “rido” (clan war), politics, and anti-illegal drugs drive.

He said that based on reports that the SPD received, Talumpa’s group was earlier tagged as responsible behind the death of the son of the former mayor of Labangan, Wilson Nandang, in a shooting incident several months ago.

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