Sarangani mayor dies of cardiac arrest after ambush

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Saturday, March 1, 2014


GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Maitum Mayor George McPerson Perrett died several hours after he was ambushed by still unknown gunmen while on his way home Friday evening from a village festivities, reports here said.

Perrett sustained a lone gunshot wound in the leg but died of cardiac arrest due to severe loss of blood at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in this city.

His wife Elsie Ruge Perett, also former mayor of Maitum, told her nephew that she and her husband and his secretary were driving home past 9 p.m. Friday when they heard exploding firecrackers and later a burst of gunfire.

The mayor told her that he was hit, but still managed to drive to a nearby military detachment after which he was rushed to a clinic for first aid.

At the time of the ambush, the mayor did not have his security details and was the one driving the car.

Reports said the wound had continued to bleed prompting his wife and son Gary to bring the mayor to the hospital here where he was admitted.

His wife said the mayor was in stable condition when brought to the hospital.

But his condition deteriorated after continuous bleeding and sudden drop in blood pressure.

He died around 2:30 a.m.

Perrett is the youngest son of Walter K. Perrett, an American banker who was among the first group of Thomasites that were sent to the Philippines after the Filipino-American war. His mother is a Thailander. Perrett however opted to become a Filipino citizen and was born in Maitum.

Walter K. Perrett arrived in Maitum in 1918 after a brief stay in Ilocos. He was executed by the Japanese occupational forces in Kiamba during the war. Maitum was formerly part of Kiamba.

Mayor Perrett left behind his wife and sons Gary and Michael. Michael is in the United States.

Perett is the second sitting Maitum mayor killed over the last decade and the third over the same period.

Maitum is one of the violence-prone towns of Sarangani.

In November 2006, Mayor George Yabes was assassinated at the public market also in Maitum. He was replaced by his vice mayor Felix Reganit who himself was later gunned down in Tondo, Manila after losing the elections to Elsie Perett in 2007.

Last year, Perret ran for mayor after his wife decided to retire from politics. He ran under the People's Champ Movement of Rep. Manny Pacquiao.

Alan Perett Palileo, then barangay chief of Kalaong in Maitum was also slain in the third attempt on his life. Palieleo was nephew of Mayor Perrett.

Exuperio Gaabucayan, a former Philippine Army captain who was appointed OIC mayor in 1986, was also killed by assassins.

Maitum is the last western town of Sarangani and is neighboring town of Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat. (EGE)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 02, 2014.

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