Latest Stories

Husband of Iloilo town mayor, driver killed, 1 hurt in ambush


ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Two persons including the husband of a town mayor were killed and another was wounded in an ambush by heavily armed men in Lemery town, Iloilo province, Monday morning.

John Apura, 45, husband of Mayor Ligaya Apura, was pronounced dead at the Sara District Hospital where the victims were taken, Inspector Asension Ortizo, Lemery police chief, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The other fatality was identified as Apura’s driver Rodel Lope and the wounded as their companion Joselito Calvez. The victims had multiple bullet wounds.

Ortizo said the assailants opened fire at the victims who were on a Nissan Patrol vehicle around 8:30 a.m. at Barangay (village) Anabo in Lemery, about 69 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City.

Three to five persons were believed to be involved in the ambush, said Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., Western Visayas police director.

Police have arrested one of the suspected assailants with an M-14 rifle in a sugarcane field a few hours after the attack.

The suspect, identified as Mario Cobarubias, is a resident of Dumarao town in Capiz and is wanted for a separate murder charge, according to Cruz.

Cobarubias has been detained at the provincial police headquarters in Camp Francisco Sumagaysay Sr. in Sta Barbara town in Iloilo.

The policemen cornered Cobarubias in a sugarcane field more than a kilometer from the ambush site.

Also recovered from the suspect were four M-14 ammunition magazines, two hand grenades and 85 rounds of ammunition.

Apura’s widow is seeking justice for her husband.

“The people of Lemery, and not only my family, are crying for justice,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a telephone interview.

The mayor is seeking re-election under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). She is being challenged by Lowel Arban of the ruling Liberal Party and independent candidate Vicente Inion.

Investigators are eyeing land dispute as a probable motive of the attack. Apura was also engaged in various businesses, according to Ortizo.

While politics is among the probable motives of the killing, Cruz noted that Apura was not a candidate.

“We will conduct and impartial investigation and pursue all possible angles,” Cruz said.

But Mayor Apura said politics was behind the ambush.

“I may be the candidate but my husband was my main campaigner. He had no enemies,” she said.

The mayor is not backing out from the election despite her husband’s death.

“This has only strengthened me and I know my town mates are intelligent to know the truth, ” she said.

Lemuel Fernandez, UNA campaign manager in Iloilo, said Mayor Apura had sought help from party officials two days ago because of security concerns.

“She was afraid for the safety of her family from goons,” Fernandez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Lemery is among the 40 areas in Western Visayas under the election watchlist of the Commission on Election and the Philippine National Police.

Cruz said the Lemery police force have earlier been augmented after the town was placed under the watchlist. He said security would be provided to  the survivor of the attack.

Originally posted at 09:58 am | Monday, May 6, 2013

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ambush , Crimes , Iloilo , Jun Apura , Politics , Shooting , Violence

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Sandigan junks Marcos family claim to Paoay property
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • Marketplace