Slain Zambo mayor laid to rest

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

ZAMBOANGA (Updated) -- Less than 24 hours after the fatal shooting of Labangan Mayor Ukol Talumpa, his wife, and two others at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, the bodies of the four victims were laid to rest Saturday.

Ibrahim Balimbingan, head of Moro Civil Society Organization, said the remains of the mayor, his wife Lea, and nephew Salipudin Talumpa arrived in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur around 6 a.m. Friday aboard a C-130 cargo plane from Manila and were transported to municipality of Labangan.

The bodies were buried in a traditional Islamic rite funeral around 11 a.m. Saturday at Barangay Upper Sang-an in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Before they were brought back in Labangan, their bodies were first arranged in their house in Las Pinas City, hours after the incident.

The body of the 18-month-old baby boy Philip Thomas Estuesta was buried in Manila, Balimbingan added.

Balimbingan said the interment was attended by more than 1,000 people, who are relatives, friends, and supporters.

The victims were declared dead on arrival at the Villamor Airbase Hospital in Pasay City after being shot dead by unidentified suspects at the arrival area of the airport at 11:15 a.m. Friday. [Read story here]

The Labangan mayor and his party arrived at the Pasay airport around 10 a.m. from Zamboanga del Sur via Cebu Pacific flight 5J 852 supposedly to spend their Christmas break at their home in Las Pinas City.

Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said that Talumpa and his relatives were shot by motorcycle-riding suspects reportedly clad in police uniforms.

Talumpa's body guards weren't able to retaliate after the incident since they were caught off guard when the gunmen allegedly fired towards the victims while they were claiming their guns at the firearms recovery booth located at the Bay 1 of the airport terminal.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Police Director Carmelo Valmoria already said that based on their initial findings, Talumpa was the main target of the riding in tandem.

Valmoria said that the shooting was done by professional assassins based on the assessment made by the PNP Aviation Security Group.

Balimbingan cited two possible motives, politics and family feud, of the incident, but refused to further elaborate. (Sunnex)

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