June 28, 2010 in Featured
By LEILANIE ADRIANO
BURGOS, Ilocos Norte – Incoming mayor Matilde “Maja” Sales of Pagudpud town survived an ambush at about 4 pm on Monday along a national road in Brgy. Nagsurot, this town. Two of her close-in bodyguards, however were shot dead while one was injured.
Sales’ service vehicle was traversing a sharp curved terrain in Bangui, Ilocos Norte heading to Laoag City when their vehicle was strafed with armalite rifle.
The victims who took cover of the target with bullet proof vest, identified as Mario Mongje, a native of Bicol was declared dead on the spot while Pertofer Caletena, who was shot below his waist died after he was rushed to a nearby hospital.
His driver-bodyguard, Manolito Rangasan, hit by a sharpnel managed to drive to the nearest police station here.
An assistant station manager of Bombo Radio Laoag Lita Baptista who rode with Sales was also unharmed.
The mayor-elect was confined at the Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial hospital in Laoag City after her blood pressure went high after the ambush incident.
As of press time, the Philippine National Police is strengthening their investigation for the identification of the possible motive and mastermind of the incident.
But Sales’ husband Reynolan believes the crime was politically motivated.
The Pagudpud mayoralty election was a three-cornered fight of women where Sales won over the incumbent mayor’s wife and sister-in-law, Emilen “Kleng” Garvida-Sales and a town councilor Imee Benemerito-Llanes.
Prior to the ambush, Sales has reported death threats to the PNP as she was threatened she will not assume as mayor of Pagudpud before June 30.
Officials and local residents of Ilocos province are alarmed at the recent killing incidents believed to be perpetuated by guns-for-hire.# nordis.net