Gunmen kill town mayor’s bodyguard in Zambo Norte

TWO people, including a security escort of a town mayor, in a shooting incident followed by a shootout in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, officials disclosed.

The two separate incidents occurred on Monday, a day after the gun ban took effect that marked the election period for the May 2016 national and local elections.

Joel Jimenez, 34, a casual employee and detailed as security escort of Mayor Romeo Mejias of the municipality of La Libertad, Zamboanga del Norte was killed.

Senior Superintendent Edwin Wagan, Zamboanga del Norte police director, said Jimenez was fatality shot around 9:30 a.m. Monday in Poblacion village barely a hundred meters away from the town hall and police station of La Libertad town.

Wagan said that Jimenez was buying motorcycle spare parts when two men riding tandem in a motorcycle arrived and fatally shot the victim with a caliber .45 pistol.

Wagan identified the suspects the alleged gunman as Jeoy Aguila, the alleged triggerman, and Corseno Mal-ang, 35.

He said policemen pursued the suspects and engaged them in a shootout that resulted to the death Mal-ang.

According to Wagan, Fernandez was arrested two hours later in a pursuit operation at Sitio Batangan in the village of New Dapitan, Rizal, the adjacent town of La Libertad.

The responding policemen recovered from the suspects a KG9 machine pistol and a caliber .45 pistol with ammunition.

Mejias claimed the suspects are followers of his political opponents.

Wagan, however said they have yet to determine whether the killing of Jimenez is an election related violent incident.

“It’s too early to say. Our investigators are still looking into the possible motives,” he said.

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