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Zamboanga town mayor killed in ambush

PAGADIAN CITY – Gunmen have ambushed Monday the mayor of Tungawan town in the southern Filipino province of Zamboanga Sibugay killing him ahead of mid-term elections next year, police said.

Police said the politician, Randy Climaco, was travelling on his vehicle when gunmen attacked him near Batungan village at around 4 p.m.

Climaco, a seasoned politician, was heading to the town’s center when gunmen ambushed him, according to an initial police report, adding, several people who were with the mayor were also wounded in the daring attack.

“Honorable Randy Adlawan Climaco, municipal mayor of Tungawan, while on transit from Barangay Batungan to Poblacion Tungawan, was ambushed by undetermined number of armed men. Accordingly, the local chief executive was killed in the ambush and others wounded,” police said in the report.

Captain Roy Trinidad, a military spokesman, told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner that 6 people were also wounded in the ambush.

He identified them as Charlie dela Cruz, the mayor’s driver;  Fortunato Mangubat, Jembot Ricalde, Ernesto Sagualan, Abdurauf Abison, the town’s vice mayor; and a militiaman named Bebot. Two others – municipal council member Loverlie Caracol and mayoralty aspirant Carlnan Climaco survived the ambush.

He said the group just filed their candidacy when gunmen ambushed them. Climaco was running for vice mayor in the town, he added.

Special Forces soldiers were dispatched to the area to help the local police force hunt down the ambushers. No individual or group claimed responsibility for the ambush, but police suspect the attack was politically motivated.

The killing of Climaco occurred at the first day of the filing of the certificate of candidacy for the 2016 polls. (Mindanao Examiner)

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