February 9, 2023

The Apayao Provincial Police Office has requested the Police Regional Office-Cordillera to create a special task group to investigate the killing of the former mayor of Flora, Apayao evening of July 28.
Apayao PPO Director, Col. Byron Tegui-in, said composite personnel from the Flora Municipal Police Station and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Apayao are currently investigating the shooting to death of former mayor Richard de San Jose by unidentified men.
The 53-year-old victim, who was the Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative of Flora, was having a drinking session with his construction workers at Sampaguita Street, Poblacion West in Flora when two gunmen entered and suddenly fired at the victim.
According to witnesses, the suspects were wearing bonnet, jacket, and camouflage pants. They fled to the direction of Poblacion West after firing upon the victim.
The workers immediately reported the incident to the Flora MPS, while one of them tried to run after the suspects but proved futile.
Tegui-in said there was no closed-circuit television surveillance camera at the crime scene and at the exit point of the suspect.
“There’s no established motive as of this report but the investigation is considering previous grudges, revenge, land dispute, politics, and the fact that the victim is a contractor as the initial motives being considered in the investigation,” Tegui-in said. 
Probe is ongoing while the police is waiting for the activation of the special investigation task group.
The victim’s wife, Flora Vice Mayor Jessica de San Jose, said they do not have a suspect as of the moment.
The victim was elected and served as Flora mayor from 1998 to 2001. – Ofelia C. Empian