Lawmaker blames PNP for husband’s killing

The widow of former La Union Representative Eufranio Eriguel said the failure of the Philippine National Police to respond to the grave threats against her family led to the killing of her husband last month.

Rep. Sandra Eriguel of La Union claimed that her husband became an easy target after the PNP, through Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, pulled out her family’s security detail.

Days after Sapitula ordered the pullout, the former lawmaker was shot dead.

Eriguel was delivering a speech in Barangay Capas on May 12 when he was attacked by unidentified men.

The lawmaker also accused Chief Inspector Alfredo Padilla, the former police chief of Agoo, of failing to act on the request of the barangay chairman of Capas to provide security assistance during their ‘miting de avance’ on May 12, 2018.

“If it were not for the orders of RD Sapitula to pull out our police security detail and the ineptness of then COP Padilla for failing to act on the letter of Barangay Capas for security assistance, the shooting incident could have been prevented and my husband would be alive today,” Eriguel said.

She said her husband called Senior Supt. Genaro Sapiera hours before he was killed “to plead for police security due to active threats on his and his family’s lives.”

“In response to the barangay captain’s request, RD Sapitula said the security detail was pulled out from Franny Eriguel because he was no longer an incumbent government official. [But] the primordial duty of the PNP is to serve and protect the people, regardless of position or stature. Any citizen, whether an elective official, a former official or an ordinary citizen, is entitled to police assistance whenever there is a sense of danger on their lives because it is only proper that our police should assess the threat and immediately act thereon to prevent any untoward incidents. ” Eriguel said in a separate statement.

“This is not about courtesy, but policy. Life is sacred,” she added.

Eriguel called for a congressional inquiry on her husband’s killing in aid of legislation.

“We should end political violence. We [in Congress]can prevent this type of senseless killing,” she said.

The lawmaker earlier claimed that her husband’s killing was politically motivated.

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