PHILIPPINE National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar yesterday announced the surrender of a dismissed police official ordered hunted by President Rodrigo Duterte for his alleged involvement in gun-for-hire activities in Ilocos-Pangasinan region, particularly in La Union province.
The top cop said that ex-Lt. Col. Wilson Magpali, tagged as the leader of the “Magpali Group” reportedly engaged in gun-for-hire and other criminal activities in Region 1, yielded to the PNP Intelligence Group to clear his name.
According to the PNP chief, the accused surfaced after feeling the pressure of a massive manhunt launched by the police to get him and his alleged members.
Accompanied by his private counsel, Magpali voluntarily appeared before the office of the PNP-IG on Monday and executed an affidavit attesting that he voluntarily submitted himself to the PNP “to clear my name, seek redress and protection from possible harm against me.”
The former police official also denied being the leader of the “Magpali Gun for Hire Group, ” adding he had no knowledge on the accusation of planned killing of politicians in La Union.
Citing a report from PNP-IG director Col. Neil Alinsañgan, the PNP chief said that Magpali left his rented apartment unit in Bgy. Legazpi, Tayug, Pangasinan in 2019 after he was implicated in the killing of Freddie Ramirez.
Eleazar instructed the PNP-IG to coordinate closely with the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in conducting operational research and case-build-up efforts against Magpali and his group, who were allegedly involved in several cases of assassination in the Ilocos-Pangasinan region.
La Union 2nd district Rep. Sandra Eriguel earlier accused Magpali of targeting her for assassination. Eriguel is the widow of the late congressman Franny Eriguel, who was reportedly killed by members of the same group.