PNP chief Oscar Albayalde orders police security for the survivors of a Cebu ambush.
Albayalde orders 24-hour security for Cebu ambush survivors
( - January 23, 2019 - 7:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde said in a statement on Wednesday that he has ordered 24-hour security for the survivors of an ambush on the van where San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakimbini Reluya was on board. 

The town mayor survived the ambush but three of her companions, including her husband Ricardo Reluya Jr., were killed in the shooting on Tuesday evening. 

"I have given instructions to the Regional Director of PRO7, CSupt Debold Sinas, to provide round-the-clock-security to Mayor Reluya, Giovani Perez and Teolentin Jefer while they undergo treatment at a local hospital due to gunshot wounds suffered in the attack," Alabyalde said in a statement. 

Albayalde had earlier said that police only have two weeks to solve the case, but he'd be providing support "through concerned units." 

"The national headquarters, through the concerned national support units, is supporting the Special Investigation and Task Group created by PRO-7 to synchronize all investigative efforts by different PNP units to piece together the circumstances surrounding the incident and to identify the perpetrators," he said. 

Last week, former Cebu Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro was murdered while she was driving along Escario St. in Barangay Kamputhaw in Cebu City.

READ: Who killed Mary Ann Castro? NBI, CHR set parallel probe

Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday morning condemned the ambush and stressed that the “unfortunate and standard norm” of political rivalry during election period could not continue.

Cebu media reported a rise in killings in the third quarter of last year, with between 200 and 250 killings between February and December. 

Albayalde said the resolution of the killing of late Rep. Rodel Batocabe (AKO Bicol party-list), who was running for mayor of Daraga in Albay, gives him the confidence that two weeks is enough to find the suspects of the ambush in Cebu. 

READ: Daraga mayor tagged in Batocabe slay arrested for illegal firearms possession

"I am confident in due time, we will achieve a breakthrough in our investigation under the same investigative framework that we applied in similar cases of violence against elective government officials," he said. — Ryan Macasero with reports from  Kristine Joy Patag and The Freeman

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