The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) plans to recommend that the whole province of La Union be declared as an election hotspot following the ambush that killed Sudipen mayor Alexander Buquing.
According to DILG Officer-In-Charge Sec. Eduardo Ano, they will wait for the assessment of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) before making their recommendation.
Ano explained the death of Buquing, believed to be politically motivated, showed that La Union is becoming similar to other election hotspots like Abra and Mindanao.
If declared an election hotspot, Ano explained that the DILG will deploy additional security personnel in La Union in order to address the issue.
“I will recommend,” Ano admitted during a press briefing on Wednesday, October 3.
“Itong kay Mayor Buquing, ang nakikita ng PNP ay politics. But we will go where the evidence will lead us,” Ano added.
Aside from Buquing, the mayor’s driver, Boni Depdepen, and his security officer, PO2 Rolando Juanbe, were also killed during the shooting incident that happened along Bangar-Castro Provincial Road on Monday, October 1.
The mayor’s wife, vice-mayor Wendy Joy Buquing was also wounded during the incident, but survived.
Ano said that Buquing is the 11th mayor that was killed during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, and most of the killings were seen as either politically motivated or personal vendetta.
The DILG official claimed that only the deaths of Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. were drug-related.