The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Cavite filed charges of murder and frustrated murder today against Trece Martires Mayor Melandres de Sagun for the killing of Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan and his driver Romulo Guillemer in July.
According to a report from ABS-CBN, the PNP found two witnesses who could testify that de Sagun ordered the killing of Lubigan.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that de Sagun claimed that he was overseas when the crime occurred.
Police director Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza said that Lubigan was killed because of his intention to run for mayor. According to Rappler, de Sagun’s wife has plans to run for mayor, which would have pitted her against Lubigan.
Other than de Sagun, the PNP also charged the following suspects: Luis Vasquez Abad Jr., Ariel Fletchetro Paiton, Lawrence “Umbe” Arca, and Rhonel Bersamina.
On July 7, Lubigan and Guillemer were killed on Trece Martires – Indang Road by gunmen aboard a sports utility vehicle. Lubigan’s bodyguard, Romeo Edrinal, was wounded but survived the ambush.
Both the late Lubigan and de Sagun faced graft charges for allegedly questionable infrastructure projects.
Rappler reported that since July 2016, there have been 6 vice mayors and 11 mayors killed in the country.