DILG to police: Go after gun-for-hire group – The Manila Times


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The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to run after a gun-for-hire group believed to be led by a dismissed police colonel.

DILG Undersecretary Ricojudge Echiverri said over the weekend that President Rodrigo Duterte himself issued the order to track down the "mastermind" of the so-called Magpali gun-for-hire group, allegedly led by former colonel Wilson Magpali.

Echiverri noted that Duterte's specific instruction was to go after the head of the Magpali group, which was reportedly hired by "some unscrupulous politicians to harass or liquidate political rivals ahead of the 2022 elections."

The gun-for-hire group is believed to be based in the Ilocos region.

Echiverri explained that the President's order stemmed from the appeal of La Union Rep. Sandra Eriguel "who disclosed an alleged assassination plot against her" and two mayors in the province.

A group called the Crusaders for Peace, meanwhile, noted that the alleged plot against the officials of La Union has "frightened the people of La Union who fear that the 2018 violent killings may happen again."

The group cited an intelligence report that Eriguel was the "primary target" of the gun-for-hire group. She is the widow of Rep. Franny Eriguel, who was killed in 2018.

The Crusaders for Peace also noted that the two other targets were allied with the Eriguel family.

The group also appealed for additional security of the targets and to increase police visibility in the province.

"The gun-for-hire group could be used by some power-hungry traditional politicians who do not hesitate to hire police and military scalawags in their bid to control power," the Crusaders for Peace said in a statement.

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