THE vice mayor of Trece Martirez town and his driver-bodyguard were killed while another security aide was critically injured after they were ambushed by car-riding gunmen in front of a hospital Saturday afternoon, police said.
The killing of Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan, 44, happened on the same day when councilor Michael Magallanes of Zamboanga City, who had survived three previous attempts on his life, was shot dead by a lone gunman, police added.
Initial reports said Lubigan died on the spot—the third slay of a local executive official this week—while his driver, Romulo Guillemer, 50, died hours later after they were ambushed in front of the Korean Hospital at about 3:15 pm the other day.
Romeo Edrinal, 56, the other security personnel of Lubigan was in critical condition at the Korea-Philippine Friendship Hospital.
From Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the government strongly condemned the ambush, adding “Our condolences go out to the grieving family and friends of the late Vice Mayor Lubigan.”
Roque added: “We ask the leadership of the Philippine National Police to conduct a fair and thorough investigation and spare no effort in getting to the bottom of this latest crime.
“We must band together and put an end to the worrisome incidents of violence involving local politicians.”
The Lubigan slay came barely four days after the two consecutive assassination of Tanauan, Batangas and Gen. Tinio Mayors Antonio Halili and Ferdinand Bote, Monday and Tuesday, respectively, this week.
Lubigan was on board a black Toyota Hilux bearing conduction sticker YV 4077 when fired upon by the gunmen along Trece-Indang Road, Barangay Luciano, Trece Martirez.
Police said the suspects were traveling along the Indang direction on board a black Montero then fired at Lubigan’s Hilux, killing the vice mayor instantly, while Guillemer was critically wounded and was rushed to the Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital.
Members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives responded to the crime scene to gather all pieces of evidence, including the type of firearms used by the suspects.
This developed as Chief Supt. Edward Carranza, police director of Calabarzon, ordered the creation of an special intelligence task group to unravel Lubigan’s killing.
Carranza said they would be looking all possible angles behind the Lubigan killing as he revisits Trece Martirez history, suggesting political feuds had triggered previous incidents.
Meanwhile, Senior Insp. Shellamie Chang, Zamboanga City Police information officer, said Magallanes was driving his motorcycle, on his way to a feeding program in Lustre St., Sta. Catalina, when shot by a lone gunman along Betty 2 Drive at about 7:19 am
He was rushed to the hospital but died while being treated.
Police said the gunman fled on foot towards the direction of Barangay Tetuan after the incident.
Magallanes was said to be active in community service and was the president of Rotary Club of Zamboanga-West at the time of his death.
Earlier this week, 150 cleft-lipped children benefited from the free operation sponsored by the club headed by Magallanes.
The victim also served as barangay treasurer before he was elected as kagawad during the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections last May 14.
This year’s incident was the second attempt on the life of Magallanes. Early last year, he was shot and wounded, also in Barangay Sta. Catalina. With Dennis Abrina and PNA
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