Gunman in Sudipen mayor’s slay, arrested

Police crime scene

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO – The gunman in the slaying of Sudipen, La Union Mayor Alexander Buquing and his police escort has been arrested, according to a press release from the Philippine National Police Regional Office 1.

The implementation of a search warrant for violation of RA 10591 (illegal possession of firearms) lead to the arrest of one of the suspects on October 9, 2018 at 6:30 in the morning.

Based on the report, personnel of the La Union Police Provincial Office implemented the search warrant issued on October 8, 2018 by Hon. Judge Jaime L Dojillo Jr. of RTC Branch 57, San Carlos City, Pangasinan against Rosendo Obedoza Sibayan, 29 years old, married and a resident of Brgy. Butubut Norte, Balaoan, La Union.

The search resulted in the confiscation of six live ammunition and a fired cartridge for cal. 5.56mm (M16).

According to the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) created to investigate the killing of Mayor Buquing, Sibayan was identified as the gunman among the five suspects behind the shooting that took place last October 1, 2018 in the town of Bangar, La Union. The other fatalities in the shooting included the mayor’s driver, Boni Depdepen, and his police escort, PO2 Rolando Juanbe.

The SITG further disclosed that Rosendo Obedoza Sibayan also known as “Tukak” was previously charged with the cases of frustrated murder and murder, but both cases were dismissed by the trial courts. He was also charged with the crime of homicide in the year 2009 where he served his sentence through probation.

Sibayan is allegedly a member of a criminal group which operates gun-for-hire and gun-running activities in the province of La Union.

PSSupt Ricardo G. Layug, Jr., Provincial Director, La Union Police Provincial Office said that the SITG is doubling their efforts in locating the remaining four suspects involved in the killing of Mayor Buquing.

“The Police Regional Office 1 is exerting all its efforts to arrest all the suspects and give justice to the families of the victims. At the same time, all personnel are on alert, especially now that we are on the onset of election period,” PSSupt Herminio S. Tadeo, Jr., PRO1 Officer-In-Charge said. He further appealed to the public to report any information that can help in the arrest of the other suspects in killing of Mayor Buquing.

Balaoan Police Station already filed two counts of murder and violation of Republic Act 10591 against Sibayan while the current Sudipen Mayor, Wendy Buquing, opted to file additional charges against him after the interment of his husband. (TNM / PNP PRO1 PIO)