Palace condemns ambush on Sen. Guingona’s mother
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said there is no place for violence on any official.
“Kinukundena natin atake kay Mayor Guingona... Kahit anong dahilan, walang lugar itong bayolenteng pagkilos kahit sinong opisyal o kandidato," Valte said on government-run dzRB radio.
She said the Philippine National Police is conducting pursuit operations against the perpetrators.
When asked if the perpetrators had been identified, she said not yet, since the operatives “are concentrating on pursuit.”
Valte also said the Palace condoles with the families of the two aides of the mayor who were killed in the ambush.
A report on government radio dzRB said the mayor was out of danger as of Sunday noon.
A separate report by radio dzBB’s Allan Gatus said Guingona was wounded in the lower right knee while her aide PO3 Rolando Benemirito was wounded in the face.
Her driver Bartolome Velasco and his brother Nelson Velasco were killed.
The dzBB report quoted local police as saying the area where the ambush occurred was considered “red territory” or under threat by the communist New People’s Army.
It also said Mayor Guingona might be airlifted to a Metro Manila hospital for further treatment.
NPA owns ambush
A report on Business Week Mindanao said the NPA confirmed its fighters were involved in the incident, but regretted that Mayor Guingona was wounded.
It quoted National Democratic Front (NDF) Mindanao spokesman Jorge Madlos a.k.a. Ka Oris as saying members of the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 4B of North Central Mindanao Regional Command engaged in the firefight Saturday night.
The report quoted Madlos as saying the NPA put up a checkpoint in Alegatan, 15 km southwest of Gingoog City, after getting reports politicians with armed escorts were campaigning in the area.
Madlos was quoted in the report as saying Guingona’s armed escorts fired first, prompting the NPA to fire back.
But provincial police director Senior Superintendent Nilo Cabog claimed the NPA staged an ambush and not a checkpoint. — LBG, GMA News