Rama tells police to conduct deeper probe into Mabolo ambush
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has ordered the local police to dig deeper into the ambush that seriously wounded a police official and a former City Hall executive.
“I have already directed in my pronouncement that our police force should be dispatched, going to the bottom and bring justice and identify the perpetrators,” said Rama in an interview on Monday, May 2.
Rama also hoped that the swift investigation would prevent election-related violence from happening in the future.
“We wish that this whole thing be solved because we need to be in upper gear in the political climate and we need to have that feel that the City of Cebu is peaceful and it is a serious directive,” he said.
Still unidentified suspects ambushed the vehicle of Samahan ng Totoong Larong may Puso (STL) Partylist along Cardinal Rosales Avenue in Barangay Mabolo on Sunday evening.
The crime took place roughly a week before the May 9 polls.
The driver of the vehicle was Lt. Col. Chuck Barandog, former chief of the Cebu City Mobile Force Company and currently assigned at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame.
Barandog sustained at least 11 gunshot wounds, according to police reports.
Barandog was driving with his wife, former Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) administrator and Calamba barangay captain Yvonne Cania who was shot at the back.
Cania is running as the first nominee for STL Partylist.
Both are still confined in a hospital for treatment as of this writing.
Their police escort, Staff Sergeant Estipen Padillo, who was seated at the back, was unharmed.
In recent history, Cebu City has never been part of the identified election hotspots or Election Watchlist Areas (EWAs).
For his part, Rama assured that the city remains to be a safe place.
“We Cebuanos and candidates we’ve never been known into wanting to create (election-related) violence… and it should not be,” Rama said.
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