DOJ probes killing of La Union town exec

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    THE Department of Justice yesterday started its preliminary investigation on the double murder and multiple attempted murder complaints filed against two police officers and their cohorts in the killing of Balaoan, La Union vice mayor Al-fred Concepcion and his bodyguard and the wounding of his daughter, Balaoan mayor Aleli Concepcion in November last year.

    National Bureau of Investigation – Ilocos Regional Office headed by lawyer Angelito Magno last July 31 sued Sergeant Dario Cahigas and Staff Sergeant Arnold Calzado for the criminal acts.

    At the time of the crime, Cahigas was assigned at the intelligence division of the La Union police provincial police while Calzado was detailed at the PNP-Regional Office 1 headquarters in Camp General Florendo in San Fernando City, La Union.

    In its charge sheet, the NBI claimed “it was able to establish the participation of Cahigas and Canzado and two other unidentified suspects in the ambush-slay of the victims through the pieces of evidence gathered, affidavits from witnesses, verification made with the vehicles used by the suspects, DNA examination and various CCTV footages at the scene of the crime.”

    “The evidence gathered by the NBI probers also showed how the ambush was carried out by assailants until their subsequent escape using the getaway vehicles,” the complaint added.

    The victims were in a convoy traversing Balaoan-Luna Road on the morning of November 14, 2018 on their way to the municipal hall when their path was blocked by a gray Toyota Innova and the attackers immediately opened fire.

    Another group of suspects on board a Toyota RAV 4 parked at the side of the road also fired at the convoy.

    Vice mayor Concepcion was killed on the spot, along with his bodyguard Mike Ulep. His daughter Aleli, the town’s mayor, was wounded along with several of her security escorts.

    NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Antonio Pagatpat expressed confidence that they have a strong case against Cahigas and Calzado.

    “Very clearly, the NBI investigation team headed by Regional Director Magno was able to establish the elements of murder in this particular case including the conspiracy and evident premeditation to commit the crime,” Pagatpat said.

    The attack on the Concepcions’ convoy came more than a month after Mayor Alexander Buquing of Sudipen, La Union was killed in an evening ambush on his way home.