Members of the Scene of the Crime Operatives arrived on the ambush site on Tuesday night.
The Freeman
Cebu town vice mayor survives ambush
( - January 23, 2019 - 10:33am

MANILA, Philippines — San Fernando, Cebu Mayor Lakambini Reluya survived an ambush as unidentified men riddled her van with bullets on Tuesday night.

The Freeman reported that the town mayor survived the ambush but three of her companions, including her husband Ricardo Reluya Jr., were killed in Linao, Talisay City, Cebu.

Allan Bayot and Ricky Monterona were killed, while Reluya’s other companions, Giovani Perez and Tolentin Jefer were brought to the Talisay District Hospital together with the town mayor.

Just last week, former Cebu Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro was murdered while she was driving along Escario St. in Barangay Kamputhaw in Cebu City.

The Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation are looking into the killing.

Palace warns candidates against election-related violence

Malacañang on Wednesday morning condemned the ambush and stressed that the “unfortunate and standard norm” of political rivalry during election period cannot continue.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspected election-related violence to the authorities.

“We urge even as we warn the candidates to cease and desist employment of undemocratic and illegal methods to win for the law on accountability shall be applied to them with full force and effect,” Panelo added.

The Palace spokesman also said that the PNP was directed to monitor areas deemed as election hotspots.

The PNP earlier said that they are monitoring 18 areas in their list of possible election “hotspots,” but the Comelec, on January 15, has so far placed Daraga, Albay and Cotabato City under its official hotspot list.

The two areas would be under the control of the poll commission until the end of the 2019 midterm election period.

Rep. Rodel Batocabe (AKO Bicol party-list) was slain in a gift-giving event last month. Persons of interest in the case are already under police detention.

Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, believed to be the brains behind the killing, was arrested on Tuesday for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

At least 19 local executives have been killed since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. — Kristine Joy Patag with reports from The FREEMAN

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