TRECE MARTIRES CITY — The camp of Mayor Melandres de Sagun on Tuesday denied any involvement in the killing of his vice mayor, Alexander Lubigan, who was said to be running against the mayor’s wife in next year’s elections.
The denial, issued by De Sagun’s chief of staff, came amid insinuations by Lubigan’s family and local officials that politics could be behind the killing.
De Sagun, who is serving his third term as mayor, is in Italy and will return on July 17, according to his chief aide, Raymund Eguillos.
“We have not spoken (until now) because we wanted to respect the grieving family. We too are saddened, shocked,” Eguillos said.
Lubigan, 43, was attacked by armed men in a commercial complex here on Saturday afternoon.
His family said Lubigan, a day before he was killed, had confirmed his plan to run for mayor in next year’s mayoral race against De Sagun’s wife, Aiza.
Lubigan was an ally of the De Saguns in the past three elections.
Eguillos, however, said what the allies had initially agreed upon was for Lubigan to run for a seat in the provincial board and not as city mayor.
Palace spokesperson Harry Roque, who went to Lubigan’s wake here on Tuesday, expressed President Duterte’s sympathies as Malacañang vowed “to use the whole state to ferret out the truth.” —Reports from Maricar Cinco and Christine O. Avendaño
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