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Mayor safe, vows justice for slain vice mayor

/ 05:42 AM November 17, 2018
La Union ambush

The La Union municipal executive became the 19th victim of fatal attacks on local officials since 2016 in what police believe could be related to politics or drugs. (Photo courtesy of the Balaoan Municipal Police Station)

BAGUIO CITY—The mayor of Balaoan town in La Union province has assured the public that she was safe, after being wounded in a Nov. 14 gun attack that killed her father, Vice Mayor Al-Fred Concepcion.

In a Thursday social media post, Mayor Aleli Concepcion, 33, did not reveal where she was, but wrote: “I am safe. We will seek justice for daddy’s death.”

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The gunmen fired at two vehicles taking the mayor and her father to Balaoan municipal hall at 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday. The assault took place 300 meters from the town hall.

The gunmen killed an aide, wounded Mayor Concepcion and six other passengers, and struck two bystanders.

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Shortly after the attack, two policemen were wounded in a gunfight with a group of armed men in San Juan town. The police believe this group took part in the Concepcion ambush.

Out of danger

Mayor Concepcion and two town employees have been discharged from the hospital, said Chief Insp. Silverio Ordinado, La Union police spokesperson, on Friday.

Ordinado said investigators hoped to secure the accounts of people wounded in the attack.

Forensic investigators managed to get leads from a vehicle that was abandoned by the gunmen in San Juan, among them two bullets from a .45-caliber pistol and two bullet casings from from a 9-millimeter handgun, Ordinado said.

Investigators also found bloodstains and samples of human tissue inside the vehicle, indicating that a member, or members, of the armed group were wounded during the San Juan clash, he said.

Reelection

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Ordinado said policemen had been deployed to Balaoan town, where the wakes for the vice mayor and his slain aide, Michael Ulep, were being held.

Mayor Concepcion has not yet responded to queries from the Inquirer, but in her social media page, she wrote: “Tuloy Ang Aksyon! Aksyon pa rin Balaoan!,” which was also the hashtag in many of her social media posts.

Mayor Concepcion and her father, who are both lawyers, were seeking reelection next year. —GABRIEL CARDINOZA

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TAGS: La Union, Local news, Philippine news update, provincial news, Regions
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