Customs official survives ambush, unhurt but driver shot in the back

(The Freeman) - November 5, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - A Mactan Cebu International Airport customs sub-collector and his office staff  escaped unscathed an attempt on his life while he was on his way home on Rabaya Street, Nonoc, Tabunok, Talisay City, Cebu Wesnesday night.

His stay-in family driver, however, was wounded in the back after they were shot at by two motorcycle-riding men.

The driver is now recuperating at a Cebu City hospital, where he was transferred after he was rushed to the Talisay City District Hospital for medical attention shortly after the incident.

Authorities believed Gerardo Campo, who usually drives his vehicle but asked Proto Bulias, 38, married, native of Loon, Bohol to do it for him that day, was the target of the attack.

Superintendent Germano Mallari, Talisay City Police Station chief, told The FREEMAN that Gerardo was on board his Toyota Hilux (YHW 471) driven by Bulias on his way home past 7 p.m. when they were fired upon.

Mallari said that while the vehicle was about to turn the corner where Gerardo resides, a motorcycle with two men whose faces were concealed by safety helmets drove alongside them. The men suddenly pulled out guns and began firing towards the driver’s seat.

“Gikan sila sa opisina padulong na uli.  Ingon sa driver, nikalit og tapad mao na to namusil,” Mallari said.

Despite his wound, Bulias managed to drive the vehicle until they reached Gerardo’s house, prompting the two men to flee. Responding policemen failed to locate the two.

Pablito Geraldez, 30, married, a resident of Cantao-an, City of Naga, Cebu, who was with Campo and Bulias, was also unharmed.

Mallari said that if Gerardo was the one behind the wheel, as was his habit, something surely would have happened to him.

He said Gerardo was the target based on the trajectory of the bullets, which were all towards the driver’s seat, but the two men did not know that it was Bulias, not the customs official, who was the one driving the vehicle that time.

Bulias, Mallari said, drives Gerardo’s children to school but he picked the official that day since the children were having their semestral break.

The police found at the scene five bullet shells of a .45 pistol. They were also able to get a copy of a footage of the incident captured by the closed circuit television camera of a nearby establishment.  Mallari said they are now looking for possible suspects. Gerardo, he said, allegedly had no idea who would try to kill him as he had no known enemies.

“Kagabii wala nato maistorya kaayo siya pero ganihang buntag ato nang naistorya, trabaho ra siya unya wala siyay nakontra,” he said.

Gerardo worked for 16 years as Cebu International Port collector and was an MCIA sub-collector for two years.

PO3 Ferdinand Pablo, Talisay City Police Office investigator, said they will look into the possibility the attack was related to Gerardo’s work.

 “Mao ni atong tan-awon, kun wala bay nasuya sa iyang trabaho o unsa ba,” Pablo said.

However, Sammy Gerardo Campo said his younger brother could not have been the target since Gerardo was a “good person”. Sammy instead believed it was really Bulias whom the gunmen wanted to kill, remembering that the driver at one time figured in a traffic altercation.

 Sammy, however, said he was thankful that nobody died during the attack. Gerardo, on the other hand, said he would request higher office for a security detail.  (FREEMAN)


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