NBI team conducting own probe on mayorâs killing
Mayor Ceasar Perez
STAR/File

NBI team conducting own probe on mayor’s killing

Ed Amoroso (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — While police in Laguna continue to face a blank wall in its probe into Thursday night’s killing of Los Baños Mayor Ceasar Perez, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has launched its own investigation.

Daniel Daganzo, NBI-Laguna chief, said he dispatched a four-man team to the scene of the crime last Friday to begin its parallel probe into the killing.

Perez, 66, also a former Laguna vice governor, was walking towards the receiving area of the municipal hall in Barangay Timugan when he was shot twice in the head by a still unidentified gunman at 8:45 p.m.

“The team has started conducting intelligence gathering and looked at pieces of evidence as well as the possible eyewitness that could help the case,” Daganzo said.

Yesterday, Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez said the Special Investigation Task Group or “SITG Perez” – which was created to solve the case – has not yet identified the shooter and countered reports that there was a witness to the crime.

Hernandez said in an interview over dzBB that they are reviewing CCTV footage in the area.

He said the gunman did not approach Perez, but shot him from a distance, adding that the mayor was alone in the compound.

Perez had reportedly come from a massage spa in Barangay Baybayin before going to the municipal hall.

Support units of the SITG, like the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Laguna and the Provincial Intelligence Unit, were in the process of retracing the mayor’s movements that night by reviewing CCTVs installed in the areas he came from.

Perez had previously told people close to him that he has been receiving death threats, but Hernandez said the mayor never elaborated on these threats during their previous meetings.

Daganzo said the NBI has already contacted Perez’s relatives about its investigation, but they were still busy attending to the mayor’s funeral arrangements.

The SITG has also been interviewing the mayor’s relatives and close associates for possible leads.

It had surfaced that Perez was once included in President Duterte’s narco-list.

Lt. Col. Imelda Tolentino, spokesperson for the Laguna Police Provincial Office (PPO), confirmed in a phone interview that the mayor’s alleged link to illegal drugs was among the motives being explored by police investigators, apart from politics.

But like Hernandez, Tolentino said no suspects or persons of interest have been identified by investigators. – Manny Tupas

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