A police special investigation task force has been activated to probe the killing of the Negros Occidental provincial consultant on hospital operations in San Carlos City Monday night, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said Tuesday, April 13.
The National Bureau of Investigation is also being asked to conduct a parallel investigation, Lacson said.
Renoir Baldovino, NBI Bacolod chief, said NBI agents will be sent to San Carlos to investigate the killing of Cui on Wednesday, April 14.
Mariano Antonio “Marton” Cui III, 62, was declared dead at the San Carlos City Hospital after he was shot as he was leaving his office at Emerald Arcade at F.C. Ledesma Avenue in San Carlos City at about 8 p.m. Monday, April 12.
The police said he sustained two gunshot wounds in the lower part of his neck from a shooter who fired from a distance.
Witnesses said the shooter was inside a white van when he fired at Cui as he was about to board his Land Rover at the entrance of the arcade.
The Philippine flag flew at half mast in front of the provincial Capitol in Bacolod City for Cui on Tuesday.
Lacson said he is deeply saddened and shocked by the murder of Cui whom he described as a dear friend.
“Marton was a fine gentleman, mild manner individual, I cannot understand why someone would do him harm. Marton, a loyal and trusted man of former Congressman Jules Ledesma, was a pillar of strength for our political group in the first district, who preferred to work behind the scene, not wanting any credit to him,” Lacson said.
Lacson said he really hopes that unlike similar killing incidents before, the triggerman, the mastermind and the reason why Cui was killed could be established
“I think the only justice we can give Marton and his family is to find out who the triggerman was, who was behind the operation and why was it necessary to take the life out of Marton,” Lacson said.
He said confidence in the resolution of the killing is very low because incidents of similar nature have not been resolved up to this day.
“I don’t think the families of those who passed on in previous incidents are happy with the non-results of the investigations,” Lacson said.
Although confidence is not high there is no other recourse but to trust those conducting the investigation, he added.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said he was shocked by the totally unexpected brutal killing of Cui.
“I strongly condemn this abominable assault on the primacy and sanctity of human life! His death is another mark of senselessness on the use of violence against human life… This culture of death must end,” Alminaza said.
He said on July 27, 2018 the bishops of Negros issued a collegial pastoral plea to end the killings in Negros Island.
“We reiterate our call for an end to violence in Negros island, victimizing our very own people — farmers, civil society leaders and even government officials,” Alminaza said.
The police force must be resolute in solving the crimes and acts of violence with due diligence, he added.
“We shall continue to toll the church bells in all parishes, chaplaincies, mission stations, and religious houses every evening at 8 o’clock until the killings stop”, he said.
Alminaza and Lacson conveyed their condolences to the family of Cui.
Alminaza also cited those who were touched by Cui’s life and works and who “grieve for such great loss”.
San Carlos Mayor Renato Gustilo said there was no indication of any threat on the life of Cui.
Gustilo said there was talk that Cui could run for mayor of Toboso in 2022 if two groups in their coalition in the town failed to reach an agreement on whom to field.
“But the term was he might run, nothing was definite,” Gustilo said.
Lacson said every time Cui mentioned that he would run for office during election time he would just laugh and say he would believe it when he actually filed his certificate of candidacy.
Cui ran the companies of Ledesma, Gustilo said.*