In a statement, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) campaign manager Toby Tiangco said that the coalition’s leaders Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile condemned the attack on Gingoog City Mayor Ruth de Lara-Guingona and her two aides, brothers Nestor and Bartolome Velasco.
The Velasco brothers died in the attack.
“We extend our sympathies to the Velasco family; we continue to pray for the speedy recovery of Mrs. Guingona, and it is our prayer that the culprits are brought to justice soon,” Tiangco said.
The New People’s Army has owned up to the attack.
“As Filipinos, we take care of our elderly; not hurt them. No matter what the circumstances are, we don’t shoot at women,” he added.
Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo, the national police spokesman, said that Mayor Ruth Guingona suffered abrasions from late Saturday’s attack. A regional police report said Guingona was hit in her lower right knee.
The report said Guingona’s group was traveling late Saturday after attending a beauty pageant in a hinterland village of Ginoog when communist rebels manning a road block fired at her vehicle, causing it to overturn. The rebels and Guingona’s six police escorts then traded shots before the rebels fled.