AUTHORITIES on Friday filed criminal charges against the suspects in the shooting incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 where Mayor Ocol Talumpa of Labangan town, Zamboanga del Sur province was killed.
Southern Police District (SPD) Director Chief Superintendent Jose Erwin Villacorte said multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges have already been filed against the gunman, identified as Marrox Amlong, and other John Does in connection with the incident.
He said the charges were filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office.
According to Villacorte, some of the relatives of the slain mayor, including his daughter Rayyam who arrived in Manila from Pagadian, stand as complainants in the case.
Rayyam earlier said that a witness identified the gunman as Amlong, allegedly a bodyguard of former Labangan Mayor Wilson “Kitty” Nandang, who is a long-time political rival of Talumpa.
According to Rayyam, the witness claimed to have heard the gunman saying “Mayor, Mayor para ito kay [this is for]Kitty Nandang” before shooting her father.
She also expressed belief that her father’s advocacy against illegal drug trade in Zamboanga del Sur was the motive behind the killing.
“My father is vehemently against illegal drug trade,” she said.
Reports reaching the PNP indicated that Talumpa was involved in an intense rivalry with former Nandang, who lost a son in an ambush staged by unidentified men three months ago in Lanao del Norte.
Besides the mayor, among those who were killed in the ambush include his wife, nephew and an 18-month-old boy while five others were wounded.
Villacorte said they are considering a bounty to expedite the arrest of the suspects.
Meanwhile, authorities have recovered in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig city a motorcycle with no license plate, which is believed to be used by the suspects as their getaway vehicle.
The Task Force Talumpa has checked the motorcycle for fingerprints and it will also conduct tests on the drops of blood recovered from the vehicle.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO