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PIA Press Release

Cops pursue leads in Tomawis case

by Rudolph Ian G. Alama

Davao City (4 December) -- The Philippine National Police is closely following up major leads in trying to resolve the slaying of Barira, Maguindanao Vice Mayor Alexander Tomawis.

Tomawis was gunned down last November 28 inside his home in Buhangin District, Davao City by an unidentified assailant.

PNP's Task Force Tomawis head Police Senior Superintendent Pedro Cabatingan Jr. said that based on the manner Tomawis was killed, the assailant was a professional hitman.

The Task Force said that they had interviewed the victim's brother, PO1 Harold Tomawis who recalled the chronological events leading to the death of his brother.

Basing on his brother's accounts, the Vice-Mayor had been increasingly receiving a number of death threats shortly before the killing.

PO1 Tomawis however did not disclose to the Task Force the source of the threats.

One angle being investigated is a complaint in the Ombudsman filed by the Vice-Mayor against a military official. They are also looking at a conflict emanating from the fact that the victim was the primemover of an Iranun Development Council.

They are also looking at a family feud or a deep personal grudge against the victim.

Cabatingan, who is also the regional head of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said that they are cross matching the slugs and spent shells from the crime scene with other slugs and shells in the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.)

They have also digitally recreated a composite sketch of the gunman as cited by the key witnesses.

Cabatingan said that the Task Force is recommending the provisions of reward money to those who can pinpoint the suspects in the case.

Undersecretary Ricardo Puno of the Interior and Local Government recently visited the city to monitor the case. He urged the police to hasten if possible the resolution of the case and of the other political killings.

"There was no deadline given, but we will do our best to solve the case," Cabatingan assured the public. (PIA-XI) [top]

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