CAMP VICENTE LIM—Two people were killed while a village official was wounded after unidentified armed men ambushed a group of supporters of the Revilla political clan right in their Bacoor City bailiwick late Thursday.
Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. on Saturday blamed politics and alleged police inaction for the ambush that killed their supporters.
Catherine Palabrica, 44, the village chief of Bacoor’s Barangay Queens Row Central, survived the attack, but her brother-in-law, Bobby Palabrica, and another companion, Reynaldo Primero, died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Bacoor City police chief Supt. Ronaldo Mendoza said the victims were returning from a political meeting when their Toyota Revo was stopped by four unidentified men on board two motorcycles in Barangay Queens Row West at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
The gunmen opened fire, hitting Bobby and Primero, who were seated in front.
The three victims were rushed to St. Dominic’s Hospital in Bacoor but Bobby and Primero died a few hours later.
Palabrica is a supporter of the senator’s brother, Bacoor City Mayor Strike Revilla, who is running for reelection.
The senator’s wife, Lani Mercado, is Bacoor’s lone district representative who is also seeking reelection in May. The couple’s son, Jolo, is running for vice governor of Cavite as the running mate of reelectionist Gov. Jonvic Remulla.
The Remulla-Revilla tandem is pitted against Imus Rep. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi, who is seeking to make a comeback as governor, with Jay Lacson, the son of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, as his running mate.
The Revillas, who are members of Lakas-Kampi, have coalesced with Remulla for the May elections, forming a local party called the Magdalo Coalition.
Maliksi and Lacson are running with the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
In a statement the Revillas released on Saturday, Lani said the ambush was a “desperate” attempt of their political opponents to scare their supporters.
Senator Revilla accused the Cavite police of bias for some politicians, deploring their alleged inaction on reports of incidents of political harassment.
Mendoza said it was too early to conclude that the incident was politically motivated, even as he stressed the police were “considering all possible angles” in the investigation.
“We have to evaluate every evidence and statement first before making any conclusion. Right now our investigation is still ongoing,” he said in a phone interview.
Mayor Revilla, in the same Revilla family statement, called on the National Bureau of Investigation to step in, noting the alleged lapses in the police’s handling of the crime scene.
The mayor said Bacoor’s policemen removed the victims’ vehicle even before the arrival of the scene of the crime operatives at the scene.
But Mendoza said the residents who assisted the injured were the ones who used the vehicle to take the victims to the hospital.