Probe pushed on involvement of rogue cops, military in La Union gun-for-hire group

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BAGUIO CITY (July 19, 2021) — La Union second district lawmaker Sandra Eriguel is appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to order a probe on the involvement of rogue military and police personnel in a gun-for-hire group allegedly “engaged” by some politicians purportedly to harass or worst, to liquidate their political rivals ahead of the 2022 elections.

Eriguel made the appeal following an intelligence report that an assassination squad was regrouping in La Union for a plot to kill her and two municipal mayors.

The said intelligence report came the slay plot was uncovered by the La Union police following the arrest of four members of the “Wilson Magpali” assassination squad on June 23, 2021 in San Juan town.

The gun-for-hire group is reportedly composed mostly of police and military scalawags and headed by Magpali, a dismissed police Colonel.

Rep. Eriguel initially thanked the Duterte administration and the police led by Gen. Guillermo Eleazar for the swift action on the arrest of several members of the gun-for-hire group as part of efforts to cleanse their ranks of scalawags.

“Sana po ay matuldukan na itong mga karahasan na hindi po kanais-nais. Nakakatakot po ngayon, na parang bagong Abra po itong La Union.

Sana po ay hindi mangyari ang ganon.  Nananawagan po kami kay Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte, kay PNP Chief Gen. Eleazar at sa NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) para gumawa ng parallel investigation po dito,” Rep. Eriguel profusely urged.

Eriguel is the widow of former Rep. Franny Eriguel who was slain in 2018. The two other alleged targets of the Magpali group are allies of the Eriguels, according to the intelligence report. She said that despite the arrest of several members of the group.

The gang’s alleged leader, Wilson Magpali, earlier named by the police as “Winston” remains at large, worrying Rep. Eriguel, her allies and various sectors in La Union of possible violence to befall the province in the next few days.

“Kaya po nakakabahala ito. Baka maulit na naman yung nangyari po nung 2018,” she said, pointing to her husband’s assassination and the slaying of Balaoan Vice Mayor Alfred Concepcion on November 14 and Sudipen Mayor Alexander Buquing on October 1 of that year.

“Ang nakakabahala po dito, meron po silang mga kasabwat na active PNP. Kaya po nanawagan po ako kay General Eleazar na sana magkaroon ng thorough investigation at saka wala sanang white wash at ma identify narin sana lahat ng mga sangkot po dito,” the lawmaker begged.

Artemio A. Dumlao