DAVAO CITY -- A barangay captain who is also a known ally of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte escaped Saturday an assassination attempt that was believed to be politically motivated.

On Sunday, a senior adviser and campaign manager of another city mayor, this time Makati Mayor and Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino-United Opposition (PMP-UNO) Vice Presidential bet Jejomar Binay, was shot in Cainta town by still unidentified gunmen. The victim also survived the slay attempt.

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The shooting on Duterte’s supporter identified as Megacawayan barangay captain Glenn Escovilla, 48, a resident of 123 Paramount Street, Lanang Executive Homes Subdivision, occurred around 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Lanang Road in Barangay Rafael Castillo, this city.

Escovilla said he was driving his Toyota Fortuner from his home, along with his wife and three children, when he noticed a man on the roadside pointing to his vehicle.

The man, he said, was apparently a lookout as a motorcycle with two men on board sped toward his vehicle, with the motorcycle passenger pulling out a handgun.

"Ang backrider maoy mipusil nako pero wala mibuto ang iyang pusil. Nataranta sila mao nga wala na nakapabuto ang suspect (The passenger was the one who tried to shoot me but his gun jammed and they panicked when that happened)," said Escovilla, who sought the help of the San Pedro Police Station.

Escovilla said the men on the motorcycle chased his vehicle and only fled when he reached the police station.

He said he was warned by his brother last week as they were men shadowing him.

"Human niadtong dunay mga kapitan nga gipanghulga sa text, gitext ko sa akong igsuon nga magbantay (After there were several other barangay captains who received death threats, my brother warned me)," said Escovilla, who also requested authorities to grant him a permit to carry firearms.

He himself believed that the motive for the assassination attempt was politics.

"Wala koy nakita nga laing motibo gawas sa politika kay solid nga supporter sa mga Duterte. Wala may tawo nga nasilo nako sa bukid. Layo ang kamatuoran nga mga rebeldeng New People's Army (NPA) ang mopatay nako (I do not see any other motive except politics as I am a known supporter of Duterte. I have not made enemies of anyone in the boondocks. It is not true that the NPA is out to get me)," Escovilla said.

Police are still conducting further investigation on the incident.

In Manila, police are also investigating the shooting incident that involved Binay’s campaign manager, Gerardo Limlingan.

Makati Information Community and Relations Department (ICRD) chief Joey Salgado said Limlingan, 68, survived the attack with a gunshot wound in the arm and leg.

The victim is now being treated at The Medical City hospital under tight security.

Just like Escovilla, Limlingan was driving his vehicle, this time Hyundai Santa Fe (NRO-150), along East Bank Road, Manggahan in Barangay San Andres around 11:45 a.m. when the suspects on board a motorcycle pulled up alongside his car and shot the victim several times.

Responding policemen brought him to the hospital while the gunmen sped off towards an unknown destination after the attack.

Salgado said Limlingan may have come from the Eastridge Golf Club as it was his routine to play golf every weekend. He said investigation is ongoing.


In a statement, Binay condemned the attack on his adviser whom he described as a “very dear family friend.”

“The attempt on his life is a despicable act that deserves condemnation. It is obviously politically motivated,” Binay said even as he refused to provide additional details.

While Binay is not pointing fingers at any of his political rivals, Vice Mayor Sara Duterte of this city immediately issued a statement against political rival House Speaker Prospero Nograles and Karlo Nograles after learning of the assassination attempt on Escovilla.

"Kung inyong hilabtan ang among mga supporters, basin mag-rido ta dinhi sa Davao (If you touch our supporters, there will be war here in Davao)," she said in her television program Sunday.

Duterte's party, Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, also issued a formal statement strongly denouncing Saturday's assassination try.

"This is a desperate act of desperate men," the Hugpong statement said.

There has been no statement yet coming from the Nograles camp.

Death threats

In the Hugpong press release, Police Officer 3 Gerry Tucado, the desk officer on duty at San Pedro Police Precinct, described Escovilla as trembling when he arrived to report the incident.

Escovilla was among the barangay captains allied with Mayor Duterte who received death threats last February 25, the same day authorities recovered two bombs in public places in this city.

A day before the assassination attempt, Escovilla said he received another death threat, which stated: "Babala sa inyo! Kap, pag may nangyari sa isa sa mga Team Nograles, itaga mo sa bato, mga mahal mo ang kapalit. Abusado ka na. Umayos ka (We are warning you barangay captain! If something wrong will happen to the Team Nograles, your loved ones will be on the deal. You are abusive. You better fix up)."

On the same day, he received another threatening text message that said: "Hindi nakakakilala ang bomba, mayor ka pa man o kapitan! Or si Satanas ka pa! Nakamasid lang kami sa inyo, pinagmamasdan. (Bomb recognizes no one, either you are a mayor or a barangay captain, or even if you are Satan. We are closely watching your moves)."

The same messages were received by other barangay captains allied with the Dutertes.

Hugpong said the death threats received by weekly Durian post editor Roger Balanza also seem to be coming from the same source.

Balanza was recently sued for libel by Speaker Nograles.

"The spelling and sentence construction consisting of mixed Tagalog and Cebuano terminologies appear similar to the messages received earlier by the barangay executives," the Hugpong said.

As of Sunday, police are still finalizing the cartographic sketches of the suspects.

Police Superintendent Tony Rivera, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said they will leave no stone unturned on the incident, adding that they will also look into the possibility that it was politically motivated.

Hugpong has urged its political leaders and supporters in the communities to be extra careful and vigilant against suspicious-looking people, advising them to seek police assistance. (Alger Dura/CPM/With PR/AH/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)