CEBU CITY, Philippines- The shooting to death of ex-Mayor Edcel Enardecido of Ayungon, Negros Oriental can not be attributed just yet to the New Peoples Army (NPA). Central Visayas Police Regional Director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas said so over the weekend.

Sinas said that his men is still investigating the killing of Enardecido and his cousin Leo last July 27 in the former’s house in Barangay Tampocon 1, Ayungon and so they can not yet pinpoint who the perpetrators are. They are looking into three possible angles; the handiwork of NPA’s, politics and business-related.

Enardecido who was also former Vice Mayor lost however in the May 13 elections this year when he run as provincial board member. “We are also looking into the political aspects kay dugay kaayo siya nag Mayor, daghan siya nakalaban, etcetera, etcetera,” Sinas said in a press conference inside the Camp Francisco Fernandez in Sibulan last Sunday afternoon, July 28.

The Enardecidos were asleep past 2am last Saturday when armed men barged into their house and shot the former Mayor and his cousin. Sinas said since Edsel has several businesses, they are also looking into the possibility that his death is business-related. “Of course, yung business nya kasi si ex-Vice Mayor dako diay kaayo ug business sa kuan diha sa Ayungon at diha pud sa Dumaguete basi naa siyay nakabangga along the way nga naglakas loob.” Including that of the Enardecidos, 17 persons were already killed in Negros Oriental since July 18 when four policemen were killed in the hinterlands of Ayungon.

Except that of lawyer Anthony Trinidad who was shot dead in Guihulngan last July 23, the incidents were believed to be carried out by the NPA’s but Sinas said, other criminal groups may have done it and just posed as the leftist rebels.

“We could not, mao lagi na we will not give any kuan, kay basig unya mga copycat lang tu. Unless we have evidence and proof we are not giving any conclusion,” Sinas said. In 2018, a mining tycoon has filed several cases against Enardecido and his son Keith in the Office of the President and the Ombudsman.

Except in the capital of the province, Dumaguete City, all the police units in Negros Oriental are on “heightened alert.”

As announced by PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde, about 300 members of the PNP Special Action Forces (PNP SAF) will also be deployed in the rebel infested province. /AAJ