PNP to conduct re-enactment of Tanauan mayor’s shooting

CALABARZON Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Edward Carranza said Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Halili will be conducting a re-enactment and thorough site ocular inspection at the crime scene on July 5 in Tanauan city hall grounds.

“Kaya magkakaroon po tayo ng re-enactment. ‘Yon pong line of sight ng bala mula po sa kinatatayuan ni [Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili] kaya magre-reenactment po tayo. From there malalaman po natin from where the mayor was standing and the gunman’s position in the bushes kung tama ba na ‘yong linya ng bala na tumagos sa dibdib ng alkalde ng Tanauan,” Carranza said during a late afternoon press conference on July 4.

He also disclosed that police investigation has kept under wraps three persons of interest, two of whom are drug-related as the probe continues and is digging deeper whether the killing incident is drug-related or politically-motivated.

He said the mayor’s damaged mobile phone will also be subjected for the regional crime lab examination and investigation as a video went viral showing a smoke which emitted from the mayor’s chest while he slumped to the ground.

“Pina-secure na po namin ‘yong cellphone and ask the Batangas Police Provincial Director if the cellphone was already recovered,” he said, citing two possibilities the smoke came from the damaged cellphone or from the bullet type that hit Halili.

Another phone is also the subject of an investigation after a video footage went viral in social media showing the shooting incident from the time the Mayor was standing, was hit around 8:10 a.m. up to the time he fell, and the local civil security transporting the mayor’s body to the car.

Authorities said the viral video would have been uploaded in social media by a person who was taking his position at a vantage point and was described to be “suspiciously not in a panic state” while documenting the incident amid the commotion.

Carranza also beefed up the “SITG Halili”, chaired by his regional deputy director Senior Supt. Nolasco Bathan, with Batangas Provincial Police Office director Senior Supt. Edwin Quilates, as vice chair to comprise members from the Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division, Regional Intelligence Division, Regional Public Information Office, Regional Crime Laboratory Office, Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, Regional Anti-Cyber Crime Office, Regional Highway Patrol Unit and the Regional Legal Service.

“We assure the Halili family and the public that no stones will be left unturned. We are also appealing to the public to help us in the investigation of this case. Rest assured that any information that will be given pertaining to this case will be treated with utmost confidentiality,” Carranza said.

Carranza also said an ordinary marksman could be behind the killing of Halili as the line of sight of some 160 meters vantage point could not be considered a sniper’s work.

“’Yung distansiyang 160 meters cannot be considered as a sniper work. ‘Yun pong 160 meters, if you are a marksman as an ordinary marksman kaya niya pong tumama sa 160 meters whether you’re using a steel sight or a scope,” Carranza explained.