La Union Second District Rep. Sandra Y. Eriguel called on the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to neutralize an assassination squad that conceived a plot to kill her and two municipal mayors in the province.
“I condemn to the highest degree the assassination plan on me and on two municipal officials in the Second District of La Union,” Rep. Eriguel, widow of slain congressman Eufranio “Franny” Eriguel, said in a statement.
“I am also deeply concerned of the presence of a gun-for-hire group operating within our beloved province of La Union most especially that the 2022 national and local elections are just months from now,” she added.
Eriguel was referring to the plot uncovered by La Union police following the arrest of several members of the notorious Winston Magpali assassination squad on June 23, 2021.
The plot allegedly involved assassinating an incumbent member of the House of Representatives and two town mayors ahead of the 2022 elections.
Eriguel said it was reminiscent of the 2018 killings that victimized Balaoan Vice Mayor Alfred Concepcion on November 14; Sudipen Mayor Alexander Buquing on October 1; and former Second District Rep. Franny Eriguel on May 12.
Those killings remain unresolved to this day, the lady lawmaker noted.
“I am reminded of the assassination of my husband, former Congressman Eufranio ‘Franny’ C. Eriguel, MD. He was brutally murdered on May 12, 2018, in Barangay Capas, Agoo, La Union just barely two days before the 2018 barangay elections, by a group of men armed with high powered firearms,” she said.
Eriguel said the perpetrators of the assassination of her husband remain unknown and continue to be at large.
“Months later, more violence and killings would occur in our province. In October 2018, Sudipen Mayor Alexander Buquing was ambushed and killed, and in November 2018 Balaoan Mayor Aleli Concepcion and Vice Mayor Al-fred Concepcion were also ambushed. Mayor Aleli survived the attack but Vice Mayor Al-fred was killed in the carnage,” she said.
Eriguel said that prior to these attacks, two weeks before the 2016 national and local elections, an improvised bomb exploded in Barangay Sta. Barbara, Agoo, La Union, targeting the convoy of then-Rep. Franny Eriguel. A person was killed, and several others were seriously injured.
Eriguel said this is why she takes the latest intelligence report on the plot against her life very seriously.
“As the threat on my life has become apparent most especially that the 2022 national and local elections are upcoming, I urge the authorities, particularly the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate this matter thoroughly and expeditiously, and to identify and apprehend all personalities that may be involved in the assassination plot,” she said.
Eriguel also appealed to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to help in the fight against the criminal group and uncover the truth by directing government resources to the ongoing investigation.
“I would also like to appeal for additional security protection in our district through deployment of uniformed personnel in areas of concern,” she said.
“The people of the Second District of La Union are peaceful and loving people. We deplore violence to the highest degree, and we do not tolerate such criminal activity nor cradle any criminal groups,” Eriguel said.
“Amidst all of this, we continue to cry for Justice for Cong. Franny and for our allies and supporters who also fell victim to the senseless act of killing purely because of politics. Accomplishments and platform of government should be the only means to sway our constituents in choosing their leaders. Truly, harassment and violence have no space in a civilized society like ours,” she said.