Police stop plot to kill Asturias vice mayor

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Saturday, February 1, 2014


AN ASSASSINATION plot against Vice Mayor Joel Dumdum of Asturias, Cebu was foiled by the police Thursday afternoon with the arrest of one of the suspected hired guns.

Operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB) and the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) Visayas Field Office were conducting a patrol at 1:30 p.m. when they encountered Jonathan Rubi in Barangay Nangka, Balamban.

Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac, director of Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), said is the alleged leader of a crime group and is one of the top ten most wanted persons in Cebu Province.

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Rubi allegedly took out his gun before the patrol team could get close so the police operatives fired at him. Rubi got hit in the thigh.

When questioned by the police, Rubi said his companion, Edgar Escalante, was waiting for him in Barangay Poblacion in the neighboring town of Asturias.

The police sent a team to Asturias, where a shootout ensued between law enforcers and Escalante. Escalante was hit in abdomen and was brought to the Balamban District Hospital, but he died before receiving treatment.

The police seized from the two men a .45 KG45 submachine pistol with 35 live bullets; 9mm KG9 submachine pistol with 32 live bullets; .45 Para Ordinance pistol with seven live bullets; and a .45 Colt MKIV pistol with five live bullets.

Supt. Rodolfo Albotra, head of PIB, said during a press conference that the text messages on the mobile phones of the suspects referred to the assassination plot against Dumdum.

Threats

Three persons, including a woman, were picked up by the police yesterday and
questioned about the assassination plot.

Gillamac said Dumdum, a cousin of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Simeon Dumdum Jr., has been getting death threats after winning a third-term in the May 2013 elections.

The assassination group, Albotra said, planned to ambush Dumdum outside his house.

He said they have been monitoring Rubi, a native of Davao Del Norte, since he arrived in Cebu.

Rubi was linked to several shooting incidents in Danao City and allegedly maintains ties with criminal groups in Balamban. He has a pending arrest warrant for murder
issued by RTC Branch 25 Assisting Judge Sylvia Aguirre Paderanga on July 18, 2011.

Rubi reportedly transferred to Cebu when he was tagged as a suspect in a killing in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte.

Job-order

Escalante was a native of Danao City and reportedly worked as a job-order at the Danao City Hall, Albotra said.

In August 2013, Escalante was arrested for illegal possession of drugs but was released after posting bail.

Gillamac said in an interview that the CPPO provided security personnel to Vice Mayor Dumdum.

He said the police will investigate further to determine the mastermind of the assassination plot.

Dumdum believed that politics is behind the plan to assassinate him.

The vice mayor ran unopposed in the May 2013 elections. When he filed his certificate of candidacy he was still a member of the One Cebu party.

He said he joined the Liberal Party shortly before the elections.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 01, 2014.

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