Quezon mayoralty bet escapes ambush
LUCENA CITY—A mayoralty candidate in the town of General Nakar in Quezon province was wounded in an ambush on Friday, police said Saturday.
In a report that reached Camp Nakar, headquarters of the Quezon provincial police office, Senior Insp. Wilmor Abang, General Nakar police chief, said a still unidentified suspect shot Eliseo Rozul, 58, National Unity Party (NUP) candidate for mayor, while he was driving a Nissan Safari utility vehicle in Barangay (village) Catablingan around 4 p.m.
The suspect fired a total of five shots from a gun of an unknown caliber hitting Rozul on his left and right knees. His three companions were unharmed.
The suspect immediately escaped after the shooting, police said.
Rozul was rushed to and is now undergoing treatment at the Claro M. Recto Hospital in Infanta, Quezon.
Incumbent General Nakar Mayor Leovigildo Rozul, younger brother of the victim, called the slay try as “politically motivated.”
However, he did not mention names of any person he suspected to be behind the ambush.
Senior Supt. Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan, Quezon police chief, said police investigators have yet to determine the motive behind the slay try.
“But we’re looking at political angle as one of the possible motives,” he said over a phone interview.
Mayor Rozul said his brother, who works “pro bono” as his consultant in the municipal government, has been receiving death threats lately from persons he declined to name.
“My political opponents have bonded together against us,” claimed the mayor.
The incumbent municipal mayor is serving his last term and has endorsed his brother as his successor.
He called on all candidates in his town to observe non-violence in their political campaign.
“We all want to serve our [constituents]. Let us show them that we all deserve their trust. Let us all maintain peace in the coming [elections],” he said.
If the mayor’s claim will be proven true, the ambush would be the first recorded election-related incident in Quezon province for the coming local and national elections next year.
Re-electionist Quezon Gov. David Suarez, who leads the NUP in the province, appealed to all candidates in the province to shun violence.
“Let’s all make this [elections] clean. With the political maturity of our people, we can all work together for a peaceful and orderly [elections],” Suarez said earlier.
In the 2013 elections, two of Suarez campaign workers, Genesis Castillo and his live-in partner Sharon Matibag, were shot dead in Tiaong town.
The killing remained unsolved as the suspects were unidentified. RAM