EXTENDING SYMPATHY. Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Benhur Abalos Jr. (in black) extends his sympathy to the parents of slain trader Yvonette Plaza at the Davao City Police Office headquarters in Davao City on Friday (Jan. 6, 2023). In a dialogue, Abalos assures the victim's parents to bring justice for their loss. (PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)

DAVAO CITY –  Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. has assured the family of slain trader Yvonette Plaza here that the police will do their best to bring the perpetrators to justice.

This came about after Abalos held a dialogue with the victim's family on Friday at the Davao City Police Office headquarters.

The lady trader was shot at close range by gunmen riding in tandem on a motorbike in front of her rented house at Green Meadow Subdivision in Tugbok district here on Dec. 29, 2022.

Closed-circuit television footage showed two armed assailants, one of whom aimed his the gun at the victim's head.

"There is already a task group created to focus on the case. We cannot set a timetable but what's important is we acted fast, especially during the first several days," Abalos told reporters.

Abalos cited the creation of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Yvonette on Dec. 30, 2022 by the Police Regional Office in the Davao Region (PRO-11) to speed up the resolution of the case.

The SITG earlier announced that a PHP1 million reward will be given for any information on the whereabouts of the perpetrators behind Plaza’s murder.

"I am calling on to the gunman, you have a PHP1-million bounty above your head. Be careful, maybe the one who ordered you to kill [her] will also be the one who will kill you too," Abalos said.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Benjamin Silo Jr., PRO-11 director, said they have submitted pieces of evidence to the forensics together with additional CCTV footage for further review.

"Our investigators are still in the field gathering more pieces of evidence. We assure the public that we are going to solve this case,” Silo said.

He said the National Bureau of Investigation-Region 11 is also conducting a parallel investigation on the case.

"We will be exchanging notes with the common goal of providing justice to the family of the victim," he said. (PNA)