Poll bets hurt in Misamis Occidental shooting
BUTUAN CITY—Two politicians aspiring for top posts in Misamis Occidental province in the 2022 elections were hurt after a bullet fired by a suspected sniper disrupted an event that they were attending in Tangub City on Wednesday night, police said.
In an incident report, Police Maj. Gerard Paul Duran, officer in charge of the Tangub City police, said the bullet pierced through the frame of a glass door in the venue of a Christmas fellowship hosted by outgoing Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal.
The slug hit Lopez Jaena Mayor Michael Gutierrez in the left temple and this exited in his nape, according to Duran. Gutierrez is running for vice governor in tandem with Oaminal.
A video clip shared to the Inquirer showed that Oaminal was addressing his political allies when the shooting happened at 8:45 p.m.
Glass shards hit the nape of former Oroquieta City Mayor Jason Almonte, who is running for representative of Misamis Occidental’s first congressional district.
Oaminal suffered bruises in the arms and back of his head.
Almonte and Gutierrez were taken to Misamis University Medical Center in nearby Ozamiz City. Gutierrez was later transferred to Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Hospital, also in Ozamiz, for further medical attention.
According to a statement released by his family on Thursday, Gutierrez remained unconscious and still in critical condition and was being monitored for “severe brain injuries.”
Police Brig. Gen. Benjamin Acorda, Northern Mindanao police director, on Thursday created a special investigation task group to probe the incident. Mobile checkpoints had been set up around Tangub City following the shooting.
Misamis Occidental Gov. Philip Tan, in a statement on Thursday, urged the police to conduct a deeper investigation “of such violent act, which we strongly oppose to be done to anyone.”
“We pray for peace, justice and healing [for] Mayor Michael Gutierrez. We may not be in the same camp but it is not right that this criminal act be done to you,” he said.
“We pray for comfort and peace, as well, to Congressman Henry [Oaminal], [former] Mayor Jason [Almonte], and the rest of [their] team,” said Tan, whose reelection bid will be challenged by Oaminal.
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