A congresswoman of La Union province has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte for a thorough investigation on the involvement of rogue armed personnel in a gun-for-hire group allegedly used to harass or liquidate political rivals ahead of the elections.
“Please help us put an end to this spate of violence. It is truly frightening – it is as if La Union has become the new Abra. We hope this will not come to pass,” said La Union second district Rep. Sandra Eriguel in a radio interview.
“We are calling on President Rodrigo Duterte, on Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and on the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel investigation,” she added.
Eriguel earlier revealed an assassination squad was regrouping in La Union in a bid to kill her and two municipal mayors in the province.
She said the plot uncovered by La Union police following the arrest of several members of the notorious Wilson Magpali assassination squad, composed mostly of police and military scalawags, on June 23, 2021. Magpali was a dismissed police colonel.
“I would like to thank the Duterte Administration and the Philippine National Police led by Gen. Eleazar for the swift action on the arrest of several members of the Magpali gun-for-hire group as part of efforts to cleanse their ranks of scalawags,” Eriguel said.
Eriguel said the kill plot was reminiscent of the bloody 2018 killings in the province when her husband, former Rep. Franny Eriguel, was killed.
Aside from her husband, Balaoan Vice Mayor Alfred Concepcion and Sudipen Mayor Alexander Buquing were also murdered in 2018.
She said despite the arrest of several members of the group, the people of La Union are still worried because the gang’s alleged leader, Magpali, remains at large.
“The investigation is ongoing. Those arrested have yet to spill the beans but based on the information that we have gathered, I was one of three targets. I and two mayors were their targets,” she said.
Eriguel also appealed for additional security for the targets of the plot and increased police visibility in La Union especially in the run-up to the 2022 elections.
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