PNP probes motive in ambush of Rizal town mayor

Aileen Cerrudo

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they would conduct an investigation to determine the motive behind the ambush of Mayor Raul Palino of Teresa, Rizal on Monday (June 16).

According to PNP CALABARZON Regional Director PBGen. Vicente Danao Jr., armed suspects ambushed the vehicle boarded by Mayor Palino along E. Rodriguez Avenue, Barangay Poblacion in Teresa, Rizal. Palino was with his driver and bodyguard.

Danao said the mayor survived the ambush but his driver, Joel Balajadia, and security, Ruel Santos, were injured and are in the hospital.

The PNP regional officer said they are looking into business rivalry or politics as some of the possible motives for the said attack.

“Kasi may mga lumalabas na may mga business rivalry, it could be politics, or baka, it could be any activity na hindi nagustuhan ng iba (There is a potential business rivalry, it could be politics, or maybe it could be any activity that others might not have liked),” he said.

The are also verifying if Mayor Palino is listed on the narcolist of President Rodrigo Duterte. Based on the President’s narcolist posted on the website of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Mayor Palino’s name is listed. However, Danao said they have not received any reports of any illegal drug activity involving the mayor.

“Beni-verify pa namin kung gaano katotoo iyang information na iyan, pero as of now wala naman siguro, kasi wala naman tayong namo-monitor na activity niya about drugs (We are verifying the accuracy of that information but as of now, there is none because we have not monitored any activity linking him to drugs),” he said.

He also added that they are looking at two possible suspects who may not even be hired killers. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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