Memorial held for Campbell
- Jose Katigbak () - April 30, 2007 - 8:16am

SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan  –  With the campaign nearing the homestretch, the spate of political violence continues as the mayor of this city and seven other people were wounded while one of his civilian aides was killed after they were attacked by unidentified men during a gathering here late Saturday.
Elsewhere, the mayor of Morong, Bataan also survived an attack after unidentified men sprayed his house with automatic gunfire.
Initial reports said San Carlos City Mayor Julian Resuello was shot while shaking hands with his supporters and visitors during a beauty contest highlighting the city’s fiesta celebration held at the city auditorium.
Resuello was airlifted to a Manila hospital for gunshot wounds in the stomach. His bodyguard, Eulogio Martinez, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds while being treated at the Blessed Doctors Family Hospital.
Among the wounded were Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Jaime Almoite; Resuello’s civilian aide Jonathan dela Cruz; bystanders Alwin Fermin, Paolo Bino, Domingo Mamaril, Antonio Soriano and nine-year-old Reyna Muñoz.
Police said the gunmen managed to squeeze into the crowd by disguising themselves as supporters of the mayor.
Witnesses said the assailants, who wore the mayor’s campaign caps, opened fire at Resuello before hitting other bystanders nearby and triggering a stampede.
Investigators recovered several empty shells of 9 mm and .45 automatics at the scene.
According to Vice Mayor Julier Resuello, there had been threats against his father which prompted them to implement tighter security measures.
“There were persistent reports of threats to the mayor’s life so we intensified checkpoints and other security measures. It was unfortunate that the assailants still managed to give us the slip,” he said.
The elder Resuello is running for vice mayor, exchanging places with his son, Julier.
He is running against Harry Cagampan while Julier will be fighting against former mayor Douglas Soriano.
Julier said his family is not accusing anyone behind the incident. He said they will leave it to the police to investigate.
“I hope those who did this will be bothered by their conscience,” he added.
Meanwhile, Morong Mayor Norberto Linao Jr. survived the attack after unidentified men sprayed automatic gunfire at his house in Barangay Oblation late Sat-urday.
Police said Linao was fast asleep along with his family when gunmen opened fire at his house.
Aside from Linao and his family, no one was hurt in the incident, Chief Inspector Emerson Dante, Morong police chief, said.

Anticipate the fears

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Calderon ordered regional police director Chief Superintendent Leopoldo Bataoil to create a task force to investigate the outbreak of violence in San Carlos City.
Calderon also ordered more effective police visibility, more particularly in the homestretch of election campaign.
Calderon warned local police commanders will be held responsible for further outbreaks of political violence in their areas,
“In the event of the occurrence of ERVIs (election related violent incidents), apply the doctrine of command responsibility wherein the chief of police will be subjected to administrative investigation to determine if there are some lapses,” Calderon said.
He said all police commanders must anticipate the outbreak of violence and implement security measures to prevent them.
Bataoil, for his part, said police investigators are now interviewing witnesses to describe the gunmen who attacked Resuello.
Bataoil said he ordered more policemen from the provincial police mobile group to augment the security in San Carlos following the incident.
President Arroyo reminded local officials to ensure the conduct of orderly and clean elections as the campaign heats up in the run-up to the May 14 polls.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Mrs. Arroyo has been holding several meetings with local officials and candidates in the past days to reiterate their re-sponsibility in ensuring honest and clean elections on May 14.
“The President has always reminded (the local officials) to make sure that everything’s on the level so that countrymen and the international community can see that in the Philippines, Filipinos are capable of holding peaceful elections,” Ermita said.
He said local officials led by Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) chairman Bohol Gov. Erico Aumentado has committed to ensure peaceful elections.
Ermita said Malacañang is being briefed daily by the PNP over the political situation.
“It’s very unfortunate that we have these violent incidents but we’d like to point out that these incidents are lower compared to previous elections,” Ermita said.
Administration party leaders in Pangasinan led by Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and Antonio Villar, chairman of Biskeg na Pangasinan where Resuello is a ranking member, also condemned the attack.
In a joint statement, De Venecia and Villar described the attack as a “barbaric and senseless shooting.”
De Venecia urged authorities to identify the gunmen to trace the mastermind. 
“We are not pointing an accusing finger to anyone but this should not happen again,” they said.
De Venecia, who is running for re-election as representative of the province’s second congressional district, said he would petition the Commission on Elec-tions to place San Carlos under its control.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz also joined sectors in calling for a stop in political violence.
“I am not siding with anyone here but this should not happen,” Cruz said.
The incident occurred two days following an outbreak of violence between two political clans in Nueva Ecija that left four people dead and 17 others wounded Thursday.
The entire province of Nueva Ecija has been placed under Comelec control after the incident. – with Cecille Suerte Felipe, Paolo Romero, Karlo Baylosis, Ce-sar Ramirez, Christina Mendez

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