Airport murder: Cops looking at politics, drugs angle

Airport murder: Cops looking at politics, drugs angle

PHILIPPINES - Why assassinate Mayor Ocol (not Ukol as previously reported) Talumpa of Labangan town in Zamboanga del Sur?

"We're looking at politics, drugs, blood feud. But these possible motives are all linked," Southern Police District director Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte told the Inquirer in a phone interview.

The government has formed the Southern Police District-led Task Group Ocol, which would investigate the killing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on Friday.

Talumpa, his wife Lea, nephew Salipudin and 1-year-old Phil Tomas Lirasan died of multiple wounds when they were shot dead at the Naia Terminal 3 near noon. Two other relatives were wounded in the attack.

The group was waiting for a pickup vehicle at the loading bay outside the arrival area, when two men on a motorcycle carried out the ambush.

Lirazan's mother Mary Ann and grandmother Amalia were also wounded. The family did not know the Talumpas and were also only waiting to be picked up at the loading bay.

Villacorte said the police has "strong leads" and is expecting major developments in the next few days.

He said his team is coordinating with other local government units in tracking down the suspects.

Task group head Senior Supt. Billy Beltran said there have been previous attempts on the life of Talumpa and it is possible that they are looking at the same suspects.

Talumpa had survived a gun ambush in 2010 in Manila city, and a grenade explosion in Mindanao last year.

Beltran raised theories onTalumpa's political rivalries, his staunch advocacy against illegal drugs and his possible involvement in "rido" or blood feuds.

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