Cops eye mystery woman in Albano slay
- Perseus Echeminada () - July 1, 2006 - 12:00am
The investigation into the killing of Ilagan, Isabela Mayor Delfinito Albano has widened with the probe focusing on the possible involvement of a woman.

Sources privy to the investigation of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) disclosed a woman may have played a part in setting up Albano for the kill.

The woman is now being sought by investigators to determine her possible involvement in the murder, sources at the QCPD intelligence and investigation division said.

"We are still checking her background," a police officer privy to the investigation told The STAR.

The source, however, did not elaborate on how the woman might have been involved in the murder of Albano.

QCPD director Chief Superintendent Nicasio Radovan earlier disclosed their initial investigation showed Albano was persuaded to veer from his regular route after receiving a text message from somebody.

Albano was driving to his townhouse in San Juan to rest when he received a text message that apparently prompted him to change course.

Investigators said they are looking into the possible involvement of the person who sent the text message.

Radovan said Albano was apparently set up for the kill with the assassins luring the mayor into an ambush.

Albano was driving his Isuzu Trooper along Scout Santiago street when three gunmen in a white Toyota Revo blocked his path and opened fire on his vehicle.

Albano was able to survive the initial volley of automatic gunfire and ran from the van.

The three gunmen chased Albano as he entered nearby Cafe Estela in Scout Lascano street to seek cover.

The masked assailants followed the mayor inside the restaurant to finish him off.

PNP chief Director General Arturo Lomibao ordered an investigation into the killing.

Lomibao also confirmed Albano received a text message or phone call on his cellular phone two hours before the ambush.

Judging from the number of gunshot wounds the victim sustained, Lomibao said investigators believe vendetta was the motive.

Radovan, for his part, claimed they have already identified the possible mastermind behind the killing of Albano.

He said investigators are already building a case against the suspect, whom they will identify in a later announcement.

Radovan said they were able to pinpoint the suspect through the alleged motive for the killing.

He said they have already narrowed down their suspects to two groups and will make an official announcement soon.

He described the assassins as "amateurs" since they used all their ammunition in killing the mayor.

Radovan said professional killers typically use only a few bullets to complete a hit.

Aside from the vendetta and political angle, police investigators are also looking into the involvement of known drug traffickers in Cagayan Valley as a possible motive for the killing.

This developed as the remains of Albano were airlifted to Ilagan yesterday after a two-day wake at the Arlington Funeral homes on Araneta Avenue in Quezon City.

Hundreds of supporters coming from Isabela have arrived since Thursday to accompany the remains of Albano for a week-long wake. — With Christina Mendez, Charlie Lagasca

ALBANO ARANETA AVENUE ARLINGTON FUNERAL CAFE ESTELA CAGAYAN VALLEY CHARLIE LAGASCA CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT NICASIO RADOVAN DIRECTOR GENERAL ARTURO LOMIBAO ILAGAN ISABELA MAYOR DELFINITO ALBANO RADOVAN
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