Aquino orders PNP, NBI to get Makiling forest guard's killers

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to go after the killers of a forest guard Elpidio Malinao at Mount Makiling in Laguna.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte on Saturday said Aquino made the order during a meeting attended by PNP and NBI officials last Friday.

“Isa sa pinag-usapan doon ang naging pagpatay sa isang forest guard sa Mt. Makiling... Nagbigay ng utos ang Pangulong Noy sa PNP at NBI na habulin sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga [salarin]," Valte said on government-run dzRB radio.

“Tayo ay nagpapaabot ng pakikiramay sa pamilya ni Mr. Malinao (We extend our condolences to Malinao’s family)," she added.

Earlier reports said a motorcycle-riding man shot dead Malinao, 49, last Monday afternoon in Bay town in Laguna, shortly after attending a court hearing.

The hearing involved a case he lodged against illegal settlers in Makiling.

News of his death shocked and angered his colleagues at the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME), a unit of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB).

Malinao was the second UP employee killed in the line of duty.

The first was botanist Leonard Co, who was killed in an alleged crossfire between soldiers and New People’s Army rebels while collecting plant samples in Leyte province last year.

Valte also said that during the meeting Friday, the PNP officials briefed Aquino on the crime rate, carjacking and other issues related to law enforcement.

Meanwhile, Valte kept mum on another meeting between Aquino and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and Department of Justice officials.

“We cannot share information on that. Maybe in the next few days we can talk about it but not at this time," she said.

When asked if the meeting may have taken up graft and tax-related cases, she only replied, “your guess is as good as mine." — LBG, GMA News