Surigao del Norte governor survives slay tryBy Danni Adorador
SIARGAO ISLAND, Surigao del Norte—It was not going to be a typical flag ceremony on Monday morning at the provincial capitol.
While the “Martsa Surigao,” the province’s hymn, was being sung as usual after the national anthem, Samuel Lapac pulled out his .45-cal. pistol and fired once in the air and then several times at Gov. Sol Matugas, who was just a few feet away, according to Senior Insp. Diomedes Cuadra, deputy police chief of Surigao City.
“I could have been hit had it not been for the presence of mind of my close-in security,” Matugas told the Inquirer by phone. “To me, they are heroes.”
Her security aides, PO2 Jerson Guindulman and PO2 Ronie Goles, were wounded when they shielded her from the gunman, Cuadra said.
Lapac, 69, also shot and wounded Raymar Quiñones, 38, a provincial security guard.
As Lapac was reloading his gun, Matugas said another guard, Mario Tokong, shot him, enough to immobilize the would-be assassin and for other security personnel to disarm and pin him down.
“The man brought two magazines with him. I saw it with my own eyes. He could have killed me and more people if he was not taken down,” the governor said.
Lapac, a former chair of Barangay Luna in Surigao City, had bullet wounds but was declared safe at Surigao Medical Center. The governor’s aides, Guindulman, 35, and Goles, 34, were brought to Miranda Family Hospital and airlifted later to a hospital in Cebu.
As she was descending the podium, Matugas said she saw the gunman draw his gun. She said she dropped to the ground when Lapac fired in the air and then let out a volley of shots all aimed at her.