Guevarra directs NBI to probe killing of NCMH chief, PCSO exec

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    JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra has directed the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the recent killings of the chief of the National Center for Mental Health and a retired police general who served as board secretary of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

    In a department order dated August 1 but released only on Monday, Guevarra directed the NBI to “conduct an investigation and case build-up on the killings of NCMH chief, Dr. Roland Cortez and his driver, Ernesto dela Cruz, as well as that of (Gen). Wesley Barayuga and to file the appropriate charges against the persons involved and found responsible thereof.”

    Guevarra directed NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor to submit a report on the progress of the investigation on the killings within 10 days.

    Cortez and his driver were killed on July 27 by two motorcycle-riding gunmen inside their vehicle in Barangay Culiat, Quezon City.

    In 2019, it was reported that Cortez filed a complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against another NCMH ranking official and 13 others over alleged graft and malversation.

    Barayuga was also shot dead by a motorcycle-riding gunman in Barangay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City last July 30.

    Barayuga, a lawyer and a former police general, worked at the PCSO after his retirement.

    Mandaluyong Police chief Col. Hector Grijaldo Jr. earlier said the attack on Barayuga was “well planned,” adding there might be a group that ordered Barayuga’s killing using a gun-for-hire.