2 dead, mayor hurt in Misamis ambush

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Latest News Philippines: 2 dead, mayor hurt in Misamis ambush – Journal.com.ph:

TEAM P-Noy senatorial candidates yesterday condemned in the strongest possible terms the ambush late Saturday night of Gingoog City Mayor Ruthie de Lara-Guingona in Misamis Oriental.

Reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda and Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, both senatorial candidates of Liberal Party-led coalition, asked the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I am shocked and so sad and pray for her recovery and I condole with the family of her bodyguard and a staff who selflessly protected her,” Legarda said.

“This cowardly and senseless act of violence should be stopped. Authorities should find a way to apprehend the suspect or suspects with dispatch. This is very condemnable. Let us pray for the swift recovery of Mayor Ruthie,” Angara said.

Team P-Noy campaign manager and Sen. Franklin Drilon also condemned the ambush.

Philippine National Police spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the attack happened at about 11 p.m. at Sitio Dumayokod, Bgy. Binakakalan.

Killed were her close-in security Nestor Velasco and his brother Bartolome, who also served as her driver, said Senior Supt. Nilo Cabog, Misamis Oriental police director.

Another close-in security escort, PO3 Rolando Beneberito, was also wounded but was declared out of danger.

The convoy, with six police escorts was on its way back to the city proper after attending a barangay fiesta.

Cerbo said the armed men engaged Mayor Guingona’s police escorts in a 10-minute firefight. Mayor Guingona, who sustained abrasions, was extracted from the ambush site, Cerbo said, adding police escort PO3 Rolando Benemirito was also wounded.

Mayor Guingona and PO3  Benerito were both declared out of danger

Guingona was retrieved only past 5 a.m. Sunday because the ambush area is located in the hinterlands of Gingoog City and her companions were not able to report the incident to authorities immediately.

She was trapped inside the vehicle because she was unable to open the vehicle’s door.

She was immediately rushed to the Gingoog City Hospital. Attending physicians later declared that she is stable but still in critical condition.

Major Leo Bongasia, spokesperson of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said that a team of the Army’s Special Forces was immediately dispatched to the area past 11 p.m. Saturday.            Meanwhile, UNA senatorial candidate Migz Zubiri also strongly condemned the shooting incident that wounded Gingoog Mayor Ruthie de Lara-Guingona and killed two of her close-in bodyguards Saturday night in Lower Kapitulangan.

At the same time, Zubiri challenged the government law enforcement agencies to immediately arrest the perpetrators and bring them before the bar of justice.

“I strongly denounce any form of political violence and unnecessary loss of lives during the election season. This is such a barbaric act!” Zubiri said. With Marlon Purificacion


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