Astorga’s killing: NBI has 2 eyewitnesses
- Evelyn Macairan () - January 30, 2007 - 12:00am
The National Bureau of Investigation said they would want to determine if there was a connection in the extrajudicial killings of a mayor, a professor, and just yesterday a husband of a board member in Samar.

NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Service (DDROS) Reynaldo Esmerada said he is concerned over the continuing assassinations in Samar. For the month of January, they have already recorded at least three cases of extrajudicial killings.

Last Jan. 19, Professor Jose Maria Cui was killed inside the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) in Northern Samar. Six days later, Daram Mayor Benito Astorga of Western Samar was gunned down while attending a benefit dance in Birawan. His 15 bodyguards failed to secure him or arrest the gunmen.

At 9:30 a.m. yesterday, the husband of Dayday de Luna, board member in Catbalogan, died of a lone gunshot wound on the head. The victim Juan Dominador de Luna was on board a van of the National Food Authority (NFA) and was traveling along Curry Avenue, when two men riding in tandem motorcycle shot him.

Head Agent Danielito Lalusis, NBI Samar District Office (SDO), said, "we would want to establish if there is a relationship among the three killings. Was a death squad responsible for the incidents or did someone took advantage of the situation."

Lalusis said that while the rebel group New People’s Army (NPA) has reportedly owned up to killing the 47-year-old mayor, this information has yet to be verified. Esmeralda said a military colonel told him that a student could be behind the death of Cui.

Esmeralda said Cui was allegedly formerly associated with the leftist group, while the De Luna couple was reportedly aligned with Bayan Muna.

He is personally going to Eastern Samar to supervise the investigation on the three deaths. He was informed the local NBI office already have two eyewitnesses in its custody who could provide details on how the mayor was killed and describe the killers.

BAYAN MUNA CUI CURRY AVENUE DARAM MAYOR BENITO ASTORGA OF WESTERN SAMAR DE LUNA DEPUTY DIRECTOR EASTERN SAMAR HEAD AGENT DANIELITO LALUSIS JUAN DOMINADOR LAST JAN NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
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