PNP Chief orders probe of Laguna town mayor’s assassination

Published December 4, 2020, 3:05 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Police General Debold Sinas, Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), instructed Friday the Calabarzon police regional office (PRO IV-A) to investigate the killing of Los Banos, Laguna Mayor Cesar Perez who was included in the so-called “narco-list” of President Duterte.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Debold Sinas held his first command visit to Police Regional Office (PRO-7) Central Visayas were at least 2,000 loose and seized firearms from police operations and New Peoples Army (NPA) surrenderees were presented in Camp Sergio Osmena Cebu City on Saturday. Sinas was once the Regional Director of PRO-7 for One year and four months. (Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Debold Sinas
(Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN / MANILA BULLETIN)

Police Brig. Gen. Felipe Natividad, regional director of the Calabarzon PRO, said he already created a composite body which will lead the probe on the death of Perez, who has also served as Laguna vice governor.

“A task group has been organized to coordinate all investigative efforts by the regional CIDG [Criminal Investigation and Detection Group], Crime Laboratory, Regional Intelligence Division, and Laguna PPO [provincial police office] for the immediate solution of the case,” Natividad said in his report to Sinas.

Perez, 66, was shot twice in the back of the head by an unidentified gunman while walking at the hallway of the municipal hall in Barangay Timugan around 8:45 p.m. Thursday, an initial police report said.

The report said that Perez just came back from a spa near the municipal hall when he was attacked. The gunman immediately fled after the incident along with a cohort.

Perez was rushed to HealthServ Medical Center in Los Banos where he died while being treated for gunshot wounds.

In 2019, Perez was named as among 46 government officials tagged by Duterte and charged by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) due to their alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

The allegation was denied by Perez as he claimed that the attempt to smear his reputation may have been perpetrated by a political enemy.

Due to his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, Perez was stripped of his power over the local police in December 2017.

Sinas told the Calabarzon PRO to “exhaust all means to get to the bottom of the case and serve justice to the slain executive.”

“[The] probers are reviewing all surveillance video footages recorded by security cameras installed around the Los Banos municipal complex and surrounding establishments,” Natividad said.

The Calabarzon police director noted that investigators were already establishing the movements of Perez before and during the shooting to gather more evidence that may shed light on the gray areas of the investigation.

The police have yet to identify the suspects or persons of interest behind Perez’ murder. The suspects remain at-large.