Note: Updates on Mayor Cesar Rafael’s murder here and the Abra explosion here.
From Philippine Star: The mayor of Paracelis town in Mountain Province was killed in an ambush yesterday, while an explosion rocked the home of a congresswoman in Bangued, Abra.
According to Senior Superintendent Joseph Adnol, Mountain Province police director, Mayor Cesar Rafael was driving in remote Sitio Sinigpit, Talitud, Paracelis town when five unidentified men fired at his vehicle.
Rafael died on the spot.
Members of the police mobile group were dispatched to the town to conduct an investigation and track down the suspects.
Meanwhile, Abra Rep. Cecille Luna survived an explosion that rocked her house in Bangued town at 7 p.m.
The congresswoman’s three sons – Lagayan town Mayor Jendrix Luna, barangay chairman and Bangued ABC president Ryan Luna and Cromwel Luna – and four others were wounded.
They were rushed to nearby hospitals but were later declared out of danger by doctors. Ryan was taken to the Abra provincial hospital while Jendrix and Cromwel were brought to the Searex Emergency hospital.
Cordillera police director Chief Superintendent Eugene Martin said they are investigating whether the explosion was an accident or an attack against the Luna family.
Martin said he has taken the congresswoman to a safehouse secured by Abra policemen.
“Rep. Luna is now at an undisclosed place surrounded by police bodyguards,” he said. “We are still investigating the incident. But the blast was powerful because it destroyed the garage, which was converted into a receiving area.”
Reports reaching Martin showed that Luna’s sons were at the receiving area when the blast occurred.
The congresswoman was in the sala at the time of the blast.
Police have not identified the wounded workers.
The Cordillera police chief said the garage conatined firecrackers, which the family intended to use for the coming New Year revelry.
“Nobody saw someone throwing a lighted cigarette or a grenade in the area,” said Martin.
Responding elements of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) of the Cordillera police are now sifting through the explosion site to gather evidence.
Luna defeated former Abra Gov. Vicente Valera in the congressional race in elections last May.
Valera is protesting Luna’s victory before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Manila.
Read related story at the Inquirer.
INFO SOURCE: Philippine Star