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Task group to probe attack on Quezon mayor

Michelle Zoleta - The Philippine Star
Task group to probe attack on Quezon mayor
Photo dated February 27, 2022 shows local police from Infanta, Quezon gathering spent shell casings from the area where the municipality's mayor was ambushed and shot earlier that day.
Photo from Melchor Luza

LUCENA, Quezon, Philippines — A special investigation task group has been created to identify the people behind the shooting of Mayor Filipina Grace America of Infanta town in this province, authorities said yesterday.

The task group will identify the gunman and the mastermind as well as the motive for the attack that was staged shortly before noon on Sunday in Barangay Poblacion, according to Brig. Gen. Antonio Yarra, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police director.

“We will leave no stone unturned to determine the motive behind the shooting,” Yarra said.

He urged the public to report to authorities any information that could help solve the case.

Philippine National Police chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos earlier ordered the creation of the task group that would be headed by Quezon police director Col. Joel Villanueva.

“We have started reviewing footage taken by a closed-circuit television camera installed in the area. We are also looking for witnesses who can help us shed light on the incident,” Villanueva said.

All police units composing the task group will conduct a parallel investigation on the case.

Villanueva said it is too early to conclude that the attack was politically motivated.

The mayor, 60, is seeking reelection in the upcoming May 9 elections. She was on her way home from attending Sunday mass when she was shot.

America is now in stable condition in a hospital in Manila, where she was taken after receiving initial treatment at the Claro M. Recto Hospital in Infanta.

She suffered a gunshot wound in the arm, below her right shoulder.

Quezon Bishop Bernardino Cortez condemned the attack on the mayor. – Emmanuel Tupas, Ed Amoroso, Evelyn Macairan

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