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Politics eyed in slay try on Surigao Norte gov

SURIGAO CITY, Philippines – The foiled attempt on the life of Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas during the flag-raising ceremony at the provincial capitol here on Monday was politically motivated, her husband, Rep. Francisco Matugas, said yesterday.

Days before the attack, the governor said the suspect, Samuel Lapac, 69, former captain of Barangay Luna, has been conducting some sort of surveillance at the capitol grounds.           

In a press conference, she said the attempt to kill her was apparently “well-planned and coordinated.”

She noted that Lapac also wore the uniform of provincial capitol employees during the shooting.

The Matugas couple also wondered why SPO3 Godfrey Reyna, allegedly a former security escort of a late politician, had to keep the cellular phone of the suspect, which he found in the crime scene.

“Why was SPO3 Reyna at the crime scene when he was supposed to be in his area of assignment in Barangay Lipata?” Rep. Matugas asked.

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Surigao del Norte police director Romy Obusan told The STAR that Reyna is a member of the Regional Training Support Group based in Lipata this city.

“We will be evaluating the statement of the eyewitnesses who allegedly saw Reyna take the mobile phone of the suspect after he was arrested. We want to find out why he did not turn over the phone to the investigators considering that it may contain necessary information,” Obusan said.

He said Lapac is a close ally of the political rivals of the Matugases.

The governor was unhurt in the attack while her police escorts, PO2s Ronnie Golez, 34, and Jerson Guidulman, 35, were wounded, along with Raymar Quiñonez, a security guard assigned at the provincial capitol.

Obusan said charges of attempted murder were filed against Lapac before the Surigao City prosecutor’s office.

He added that Golez and Guidulman may be promoted for saving the life of Gov. Matugas.

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