Special police-led task group to probe deep into Zara’s slay; Army condemns activist’s killing

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – A special police-led task force will probe deep into the brutal slay of activist Zara Alvarez as the Philippine’s justice department prepares to step into the controversial slay that has drawn the attention of international rights groups and local Church leaders.

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Today, a ranking Army official also condemned Alvarez’ Monday night slay, and vowed to “utilize (its) full capabilities so that justice will be served swiftly.”

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Major Gen. Eric Vinoya, who commands at least 10,000 soldiers under the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said they, too “seek for the truth” and “…fully support any ongoing investigation…”

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The Panay-based Vinoya said the division would “…welcome any information that would enlighten us on the incident.”

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In Mandalagan, the village here where she was killed, Police Capt. Richard Fajarito said a special task group creates by city police director Col. Henry Biñas will probe deep into two angles – personal grudges against Zara and her work as an activist.

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Fajarito heads Station 3 that has jurisdiction over Pueblo Rosario Subdivision or Eroreco where Zara was killed early evening Monday, 17 August.

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She was first identified as Saran Rebuton based on identification found by police and testimonies of boardmates in a house where she rents a room.

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Fajarito added a relative of Alvarez told him that she had been uneasy since summer of this year.

“She told them someone was following her since March,” Fajarito told DNX.

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It was not known, however, who that “someone” was, Fajarito added.

The police officer said there is no basis yet to identify State security forces, either soldiers or policemen, as suspects in the case.

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The special task force is headed by police chief Col. Henry Binas and has as its members Fajarito and the heads of the intelligence and investigation units.

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