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Attacks vs elected officials 'isolated', not yet alarming, Azurin says

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Monday said the recent attacks against elected government officials were isolated incidents.

Azurin, however, pointed out that law enforcement agencies still need to pursue the cases and find out the motive of the perpetrators.

“Personally, I would say na these are isolated cases but still these are killings that are needing to be solved and to be pursued by our law enforcement agencies in investigating ano ba 'yung mga motibo sa pagpatay sa kanila (what are the motives behind their killings),” he told reporters in an ambush interview.

Azurin said the incidents are not yet alarming as the police are still looking into the possible motives of the attacks.

“I would say na hindi pa alarming kasi nga dini-determine pa natin e dahil iba-iba 'yung situation bakit pinatay 'tong mga to. It's either political, personal, business rivalry, or other reasons,” he said.

(I would say that it is not yet alarming because we are still determining the motives because these were different situations. It's either political, personal, business rivalry, or other reasons.)

On February 17, gunmen fired shots at a convoy of Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. in Bukidnon. Though Adiong survived, four of his companions were killed.

On February 19, Aparri, Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda and five others were killed in an ambush in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya.

On February 22, Datu Montawal, Maguindanao del Sur Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal was hurt after two assailants shot him while inside his vehicle in Pasay City.

According to Azurin, the police have leads on these cases.

For Alameda’s case, Azurin said some persons of interest have already been identified.

“'Yung sa case naman ng vice mayor natin sa Aparri, we have persons of interest that are being pursued by our investigators,” he said.

For Adiong’s case, Azurin said complaints will be filed against the suspects this week.

Azurin encouraged local government officials to coordinate with the PNP if they think they need additional security details when they are traveling outside their areas of jurisdiction.—AOL, GMA Integrated News