Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Monday (July 8) condemned the “senseless” killing of Dinagat Islands’ top provincial board member which he said was an isolated case amid an improving security situation in Mindanao.

In a press statement, Nograles called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to speed up investigations on the killing of Board Member Wenefredo Olofernes, of San Jose town in Dinagat Island.

Olofernes, 52, was gunned down by two men riding tandem on a motorcycle as the official and his partner were heading home after their morning exercise.

Nograles said the PNP is offering a P100,000 reward “to encourage useful leads.”

He said his office was coordinating with Olofernes’ family. But he added that “we’be been assured that this is an isolated occurrence.”

Nograles, who is also Cabinet officer for regional development and security in the Caraga region, said peace and security in Mindanao, which is still under martial law, was “improving.”

He cited the surrender last week of more than 300 communist rebel supporters from different Surigao del Norte towns as a sign of Mindanao’s improving peace and order situation.

“The isolated killing of Board Member Olofernes notwithstanding, we can obviously see a vast improvement in the security situation in Mindanao,” he said.

“The national government will definitely continue working towards translating these results into more economic activity and improved livelihood for our constituents there,” Nograles’ statement said.

“We are securely realizing the full potential and promise of Mindanao,” he added.

This article was originally published on on July 8, 2019.

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