By Arwen Pascua

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has created a special investigation task group (SITG) to look into the circumstances surrounding the assassination of the incumbent Barangay Chairman of Anurturu, Rizal, Cagayan on Wednesday, Philippine National Police Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. confirmed.

In a statement, PGen Azurin said that SITG DE OCAMPO convened on August 11, 2022 where it was disclosed that the victim, Roberto De Ocampo y Cauilan, 50, Barangay Chairman and resident of Barangay Anurturu, Rizal, Cagayan was driving a white ISUZU elf with plate number RDK 683 when he was shot several times by still unidentified gunmen on August 10, 2022, at about 3:00 PM, in Barangay Gumarueng, Piat, Cagayan while his wife, Leonora De Ocampo y Agliam, 50, sustained minor injuries from the incident.

According to reports, De Ocampo, who sustained gunshot wounds on different parts of his body, still managed to drive his vehicle from the national highway until he lost control and crashed into a rice field.

The responding police officers rushed the victims to Tuao District Hospital for medical treatment but De Ocampo was declared dead on arrival by his attending physician Dra. Jinky Danao.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Director of the Cagayan Police Provincial Office immediately alerted nearby police stations and other security forces to pursue the fleeing suspects. Further, a dragnet operation was also conducted for the possible identification and arrest of the assailants.

The SOCO team that processed the crime scene recovered six (6) pieces of fired cartridges cases for caliber.45 and four (4) deformed bullets that will be submitted for further ballistics examination to possibly compare the recovered evidence with similar evidence from previous shooting incidents in Cagayan.

The Public Information Officer of the Cagayan Police Provincial Office also mentioned that video footage from five to seven closed-circuit television (CCTV) video surveillance systems is being reviewed to assist in the investigation.

As SITG DE OCAMPO pursues an investigation, police investigators were informed by De Ocampo’s wife that sometime in 2015, they were visited by members of the New People’s Army and took a Caliber .45 firearm from De Ocampo.

In 2018, the said rebel group again visited De Ocampo’s household but he was not around at that time. Nevertheless, Mrs. De Ocampo stressed that there were no threats received. She also added that his husband did not have any altercation with anybody.

“Rest assured that the PNP shall act swiftly so that justice will be served. We are also appealing to the community and anyone who has information that could help in giving light to the gray areas of the crime and the arrest of the suspects, please coordinate with our local police,” PGen Azurin said. (ai/mtvn)

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