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PIA Press Release
2008/08/13

Pangasinan gov tells PNP to stop local hired killers

Lingayen, Pangasinan (13 August) -- Governor Amado Espino, Jr. has ordered the Philippine National Police to go after guns-for-hire who are on the rampage in the province.

He made the order while urging an in-depth investigation into the slaying of Mayor Arthur Cabantac of Agno town on Saturday night, possibly by guns-for-hire.

In his state of the province address before the provincial board Monday morning Espino expressed sadness over the death of Cabantac who was killed while playing mahjong in Poblacion East of Agno inside a neighbor friend's house at 9:20 p.m. of Saturday.

Espino who is the chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council of the Ilocos Region, noted that it was not only Mayor Cabantac who was killed since he assumed office as governor of Pangasinan in July last year.

The same fate was also suffered by three councilors in Alcala, San Quintin and Binalonan, apparently also in the hands of hired guns.

Also killed earlier were Mayor Julian Resuello of San Carlos City in 2006 Vice Mayor Boni Apilado of San Manuel, former Mayor Conrado Rodrigo of San Nicolas, Vice Mayor Podong Aquino of Mapandan and Mayor Guerrero Zaragoza of Tayug.

Espino said it was unfortunate that these incidents happened even as many, if not all barangays of Pangasinan, including the remote areas, were already enjoying relative peace.

He revealed that there is not a single New People's Army rebel in the province nowadays and that the rampant cattle rustling that was happening has already stopped.

Being a former military man, Espino listed peace and order as high on his priority, pointing out that development and progress come faster if town, cities and barangays are secure and peaceful.

Noting that most of the victims of violence were politicians and were believed killed by hired guns. Espino ordered the PNP to intensify its intelligence operations against hired killers. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]

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