PNP relieves 2 top cops in La Union amid Eriguel slay probe

Justin Aguilar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2018 10:44 AM | Updated as of May 20 2018 11:04 AM

MANILA- The Philippine National Police has relieved the provincial director of La Union as well as the police chief of Agoo town on Saturday to give way to new officers who will handle the investigation on the assassination of former lawmaker Eufranio "Franny" Eriguel.

Police Chief Insp. Alfredo Padilla Jr, chief of Agoo Police, and La Union Provincial Police Office Head Police Senior Supt. Genaro Sapiera were relieved from their posts.

In a phone interview with ABS-CBN News, Police Chief Supt. Romeo Sapitula, PNP regional director, said the move was upon orders of the PNP headquarters.

"Wala namang nakalagay [na dahilan] pero alam mo naman sa amin anytime pwede kaming i-relieve basta command decision. If the command wants you out, baka ineffective ka dyan sa lugar mo kaya aalisin ka," said Sapitula.

(There is no specific reason but you should know that anytime you can be relieved as long as it's a command decision. If the command wants you out, maybe it's because you are ineffective in your area.)

The two relieved police officers were previously assigned to head of the Special Investigation Task Group tasked to investigate Eriguel's slay.

Eriguel was gunned down last May 12 while speaking during a general assembly of candidates running for barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.

Police have arrested a suspect in the killing, Felizardo Villanueva--a candidate for barangay chairman in Capas, La Union.

Both Padilla and Sapiera have yet to comment on the said order.