Pampanga graft fighter tags mayor in killing
MABALACAT CITY—A city crusader against corruption has tagged Mayor Marino Morales as responsible for the ambush that killed her daughter in Barangay Mabiga here on Sunday night.
Morales, however, denied the allegation of Pyra Lucas, a businesswoman, when reached for reactions on Monday.
“God is my witness, I have nothing to do with it,” Morales said in a phone interview. “I’m not a violent man. I have been through tough election races but I have never resorted to using violence.”
Superintendent Henry Flores, city police chief, said the special investigation task group he formed had yet to identify any suspect or establish any motive for the killing of Lucas’ daughter, Marian, 29.
On Monday, Lucas told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that she was the real target, not her daughter. “[My daughter] has her own car but she drove my car when she went to the beauty parlor before returning home,” she said.
The victim was traveling northward on MacArthur Highway near Fernando Coliseum in Barangay Mabiga when she was waylaid by an undetermined number of assailants at 7:10 p.m. on Sunday. She died from three bullet wounds, police said.
Lucas told police that the attack happened after a series of meetings with local officials led her to a decision to prepare plunder and disqualification cases against Morales.
“These cases would mean the end of his [political] career. I’m the only one who mustered up the courage to fight corruption in our city,” she said.
Among the incidents she cited were her refusal to receive the P1.5 million the mayor supposedly gave through a woman who left the amount in a bank in October 2012 and the copies of Commission on Audit (COA) reports she gave to concerned citizens, who posted these on the Facebook account “Mabalacat stop corruption.”
Morales, however, called the corruption allegations “baseless” and “not true.”
Lucas said she had been receiving death threats, the last in September, which she reported to the police.
Last week, she went to the COA provincial office to seek advice on her plan to pursue a fraud investigation of the city coffers. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon