Police are looking at issues concerning Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) as the possible motive for the killing of an official of the mining company in Davao City on Thursday.

Senior Supt. Rene Aspera, city police director, said they are “focusing” on SMI offsite land acquisition superintendent Cristituto Bual’s work because no other angle has been discovered so far in Davao City, where the latter resides.

“‘Yun ang tinututukan po natin… sa trabaho niya, kasi very controversial ngayon ‘yung pag-operate ng SMI, maraming (against) sa mining,” Aspera said in a phone interview.

Officials and employees of SMI have given police with information that might lead to solving the murder, he said.

Earlier, SMI manager for corporate communications John Arnaldo said Bual was formerly assigned with a team that secures consent for mining operations.

SMI’s concession area, which is said to have a two-billion ton deposit of copper and gold, straddles the tri-boundary of Kiblawan in Davao del Sur, Tampakan in South Cotabato, and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat.

Aside from the “job-related” angle, Aspera said investigators have not yet discounted other possibilities like the involvement of the New People’s Army (NPA), who has units operating in those areas. (John Roson)

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