Masbate vice mayor shot dead in Manila eatery
MANILA, Philippines — Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III of Batuan, Masbate, and his two companions were having breakfast at an eatery in the Sampaloc district of Manila on Wednesday when a group of armed men arrived and shot them around 8:45 a.m.
Investigators from the Manila Police District said Yuson died at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital. His companions, Wilfredo Pineda, 44, and Alberto Alforte, 23, were wounded and were taken to the same hospital.
Police said the gunmen’s silver-gray van (plate ACM 8804) was seen heading toward Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard after the attack in the eatery on VG Cruz Street.
In Masbate, residents of Batuan were shocked upon learning that Yuson was murdered in Manila.
“The people of Batuan are in sorrow, some were crying … many were shocked and distraught,” said Patrolman Lambert Patricio, assistant police community relations officer of Batuan, the southernmost town on Ticao Island in Masbate.
Yuson, at the time of his death, was acting mayor of the town due to the continued absence of the mayor, his son, Charmax Jan.
In the May elections, Yuson, known in the town as “Bodgie,” ran and won as vice mayor, while Charmax, replaced him as mayor. They ran under the National Unity Party.
Charmax faced Marco Martin Cam in the mayoral race. Cam is a son of Sandra Cam, a former “jueteng” whistleblower and now a board member of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
In February, members of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Bicol raided the house and resort of the Yusons and confiscated firearms and a grenade.
The father and son were not around during the raid, but they were ordered by the Department of Justice to respond to the illegal possession of firearms complaint filed against them by the police. —Reports from Nikka G. Valenzuela and Suzene Cajegas