Ilocos Norte vice mayor survives ambush, driver killed
LAOAG CITY — An Ilocos Norte vice mayor survived an ambush by two gunmen on Tuesday night (April 4) but his driver was killed and two municipal employees were wounded in Marcos town.
Vice Mayor Jessie Ermitanio was seated at the back seat of the vehicle when two men opened fire at their vehicle at 7:30 p.m. along a dirt road between the villages of Ragas and Daquioag, said Senior Insp. Lauro Milan, Marcos town police chief.
The 42-year-old vice mayor said he leaped from the car and fired back using an automatic rifle until his attackers withdrew and fled.
The gunmen fatally wounded Ermitanio’s driver, Lucky Jesrel Rumbaoa, 21, who died on his way to the nearest hospital.
Security escort Ricky Florendo and Municipal Council staffer Edralin Arellano were injured and are being treated at the Mariano Marcos Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City.
In a radio interview on Wednesday (April 5) , Ermitanio said he earlier requested the police to grant him a police escort because he believed he was being stalked when he served as acting mayor in October 2016.
He briefly replaced Mayor Arsenio Agustin who was suspended by the Ombudsman for simple neglect of duty over the disposal of worn-out government equipment without securing their appraisal value.
Recovered at the crime scene were a loaded revolver, a broken handle grip of an M16 rifle, and at least 46 empty cartridges fired from an automatic rifle.
Investigators said the vice mayor’s vehicle bore 34 bullet holes, most of which were concentrated at the driver’s seat.
The police is still verifying if the rifle used by the vice mayor was licensed. SFM
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