MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) has formed a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) to investigate the killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe and his police escort SPO1 Orlando Diaz on Saturday.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said he has directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to lead the investigation.
"Mayroon tayong na-create na SITG (We have created an SITG), two days ago I gave directive to the director of CIDG to take the lead dito sa pag-imbestiga at ang timeline natin dito ay as soon as possible (in the investigation and our timeline here is as soon as possible)," Albayalde said.
Albayalde said police are looking into possible motives on why Batocabe was killed.
"Ito ay hinihingan ng revolutionary tax o extortion ng NPA (New People's Army) sa lugar at hindi siya nagbigay, that's one, and also di natin iti-take for granted 'yung political motive nito," Albayalde said.
(He was asked for revolutionary tax or [the form of] extortion by the NPA in the area but he did not give, that's one, and also, we don't take for grant the possible political motive there.)
"Parang nagalit daw kasi hindi binigay sa kanila ang pera, we have information like that," he added.
(It appears they (rebels) got angry because they were not given money, we have information like that.)
Albayalde said he also ordered the administrative relief of the chief of police, the Provincial Director of Albay and the Regional Director of the Police Security and Protection Group to pave the way for an impartial investigation.
He said police were also looking at why Batocabe's security detail wanted to be relieved before the incident.
The PNP is also investigating if the two bodies found in Daraga just after Batocabe was gunned down were connected to the case.
"Hindi tayo puwedeng mag-speculate, baka sila 'yung assailant no'n at itinumba na rin sila. These are all speculations, all part of the investigation," Albayalde said.
(We cannot speculate that maybe they're the assailants who were also killed. These are all speculations, all part of the investigation.)