Unidentified gunmen fired at the car of newly-elected Pagudpud Mayor Matilde Sales late Monday afternoon while they were cruising along the national road in the boundaries of Bangui and Burgos town, some 50 kilometers from this city.
Sales’ two close-in security have died from the ambush while two others suffered minor wounds.
Sales, presently the vice mayor, and five others including a Bombo Radio-Laoag senior reporter were on board a Toyota Grandia van and were traversing Barangay Nagsurot in Burgos when unidentified gunmen attacked.
Police said the group had just left Pagudpud and had reached Burgos town on their way to Laoag around 4:30 pm Monday when they were fired upon.
Killed were Sales’ close-in security Mario Monje and Phertofil Caletena while another security Lito Rangasan and driver Bernardo Dornagon were slightly hurt by shrapnel and declared stable.
Sales and Bombo Radio senior reporter Lita Baptista, who were both seated in the middle section of the van, were both unharmed.
Pol. Supt. Bienvenido Rayco, Ilocos Police Deputy Provincial Director, said investigators are looking at politics as behind the attack.
Rayco said Sales, who ran and won as Pagudpud Mayor, is publicly known to have political rift with her brother-in-law and outgoing Mayor Marlon Sales.
The vice mayor ran and won as Pagudpud mayor in a three-cornered fight last May. She won against Imelda Benemerito-Llanes and her sister-in-law Emilen Garvida-Sales, wife of Mayor Marlon Sales and younger brother of Matilde’s husband Reynolan Sales.
“They are not in good terms because of politics,” Rayco said.
He said the police plan to ask Mayor Marlon Sales about the incident as part of routine investigation. – by Cristina Arzadon