Zamboanga Sibugay mayor killed, 6 hurt in ambush

Roel Pareño - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — On the first day of the filing of certificates of candidacy, a town mayor was killed while his vice mayor and five others were wounded in an ambush yesterday afternoon in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Police Supt. William Gadayan, chief of the Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC), identified the fatality as Tungawan Mayor Randy Adlawan Climaco.

Gadayan said Vice Mayor Abison Abduraok and Barangay chairman Ernesto Segualan, driver Charlie de la Cruz, Fortunato Mangubat, Carlnan Climaco and Jembot Reclade were wounded.

He said the victims were attacked hours after outgoing Mayor Climaco, who is serving his third and last term, filed his certificate of candidacy to run for vice mayor in his municipality.

Gadayan said the victims were in a service vehicle when they were ambushed at around 3:50 p.m. in Barangay Kayamkam while traveling from Barangay Batungan to Poblacion Tungawan.

The police said Climaco died on the spot while Abduraok and the three other wounded were rushed to hospital.

Gadayan said the police chief of Tungawan, Sr. Insp. Ricardo Pacaña, was investigating if the ambush on Climaco was election-related.

Pacaña said no group has claimed responsibility while pursuit operation was launched against the suspect.

Antipolo City Vice Mayor Rolando Leyva’s political officer, who plans to run for councilor, was shot and seriously wounded in an ambush last Sunday.

Macario Semilla Jr., 44, sustained gunshot wounds in the chest and left ear and is now in critical condition at the Antipolo Clinica hospital.

Semilla’s family suspected politics was behind the attempt on his life.

Sr. Supt. Bernabe Balba, Rizal police director, said Semilla was on his way to attend the Liberal Party meeting at the house of City Councilor Dodok Lawis when he was shot as he alighted from a tricycle along J.P. Rizal St. in Barangay De la Paz at around 6:30 p.m.

The gunman fled on an accomplice’s waiting motorcycle.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is ready to secure the 2016 elections by implementing best practices in previous events.

PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said the best practices in security templates in the papal visit in January and meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference have proven effective in ensuring the safety of the people.

“Like what we did in 2013, we’ll plan to put up regional special operations task group. We will bring additional people under senior police official to manage the election there. We will implement best practices and endeavor to equal, if not surpass, past achievements and ensure a secure and fair election exercise... as we did in 2010 and 2013,” said Marquez.

The security templates Marquez was referring to include the strategy in the number of police personnel to be deployed, the area of deployment and coordination with concerned government agencies, particularly the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Marquez said the PNP would closely coordinate with the Commission on Elections.

“We will secure our teachers, Comelec officials, make sure that voting is done orderly at the polling centers,” Marquez added.

During the election period, the PNP is one of the government agencies deputized by the Comelec.

At the same time, Marquez assured the public that the entire police organization would remain apolitical during the polls.

Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Joel Pagdilao declared yesterday that the first day of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) in Metro Manila was smooth and orderly.

As of 3 p.m. Pagdilao said the NCRPO received no report of untoward incident from the main headquarters of the Comelec in Intramuros, Manila and its local offices in the metropolis.

The NCRPO chief said traffic was also manageable in the Comelec offices as traffic policemen and their local counterparts were on top of the situation.

With the success of their security operations on the first day of filing of COCs, Pagdilao urged the five police district chiefs and 38 station commanders to remain vigilant until the last day of filing on Friday.

“We made no arrests as the politicians and their supporters were not unruly and have been behaving accordingly,” he said. With Non Alquitran, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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