The Philippine National Police said that the ambush which also wounded the mayor’s driver-bodyguard Bernard Plasos could be the first case of election-related violence in Metro Manila.
Quoting a spot report, PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr., identified the arrested suspects as Christian Pajenado, 26; Michael Domingo, 38; and Mary Grace Malones-Abduhadi, 25.
The trio were just among the six people tagged in the twin slays.
The suspects still at large were identified as Marsibal Abduhadi, 25 (Mary Grace’s husband); Ryan Santiago, 32; and one alias Khalid.
Police Chief Inspector Rodelio Marcelo said Mayor Domingo, 51, and Plasos, 35, were unloading luggage from their vehicle outside the Park Villa Apartelle at the corner of Examiner Street and Quezon Avenue around 8:30 p.m. when they were attacked by the suspects who were on two motorcycles.
Domingo was killed on the spot after being hit at the back of the head, while Plasos chased the feeling suspect, but he too was shot in the right thigh.
Marcelo said Plasos, although wounded, was able to hide and reported the incident to the inn’s duty guard who then called the police.
Plasos was rushed to the East Avenue Medical Center, he said, while follow-up police operations were immediately conducted, resulting in the arrests of the suspects before midnight.
He said Pajenado was found in possession of a caliber .45 pistol with two magazines loaded with live ammunition, while Domingo was found in possession of a Honda XRM (OF3055) that was allegedly used by Marsibal as his get-away vehicle.
Mary Grace, on the other hand, was in possession of a handbag containing a Baretta Caliber 25 pistol; one caliber .45; two magazines for caliber .45 loaded with live ammunition; a box of 50 live ammunition for caliber .9mm; one small plastic sachet of suspected dried marijuana; and an improvised glass tooter.
For his part, when asked if the incident could have a bearing on the existing total gun ban and recalling of candidates’ security escorts rule of the Commission on Elections, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said he doesn’t want to comment on the matter yet, but added that they will look into making certain adjustments on the matter.
“Based on that baka baguhin natin ang mga patakaran para mas lalong mapabilis…siguro ang pag-proseso ng Comelec nitong mga application for security,” Roxas said, adding that he check if Domingo has made an application for security escorts.
(Based on that we might change the rule in order to expedite…perhaps to speed up the processing of applications for security by the Comelec.)
Mayor Domingo was seeking a reelection.