Four shot dead including Labangan mayor Ukol Talumpa
Updated 3 hours 27 minutes ago
Officials have confirmed Ukol Talumpa, the mayor of Labangan in the troubled southern region of Mindanao, was among those killed.Gunmen in the Philippines have shot dead a town mayor, his wife and two others at Manila’s International Airport, sending passengers scrambling for their lives.
It’s believed the mayor was with his family waiting in an area outside one of the main terminal buildings when the gunmen are said to have approached and shot him at close range.
“The mayor and his family and some security escorts were attacked,” Manila airport general manager Angel Honrado told reporters.
His wife and two others, one thought to be a baby, were also killed.
Leo Santillan, a spokesman for the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur, which includes Labangan, said Mr Talumpa had flown to Manila earlier in the day with his wife, two nephews and six other people.
Terrified men and women screamed and cried while a man, apparently fatally wounded, lay face down on the pavement outside the passenger terminal in a video clip uploaded to the local GMA television network’s website.
“We’re scared, we were scared to go on our vacation,” one passenger said.
“If my flight were not scheduled today, I wouldn’t have travelled here. I would have cancelled my flight, because I’m scared. Until now, I seem to be shaking,” she said.
This is a very unfortunate incident…government agencies are trying their best to determine the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Manila airport general manager Angel Honrado
Manila’s Ninoy Aquino Airport handles international and domestic flights and was crowded at the time of the shooting.
“It’s worrisome, because this could mean that security is weak in the airport, so I think they should do something about this. It’s scary,” another passenger said.
“This is a very unfortunate incident that did happen at Terminal 3,” Mr Honrado said.
“Government agencies are trying their best to determine the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”
He appealed to other passengers who witnessed the shooting to help the police identify the suspects.
Authorities are still investigating the motive of the attack, which also left another four people injured.
It’s believed the gunmen, dressed in police uniforms, escaped on a motorbike.
Local media reports say Mr Talumpa, who won a tightly fought election in May, had survived two attacks before, an ambush in 2010 and a grenade attack in 2012.
More than 60 people were killed in the May elections, when 18,000 posts from provincial governor to town and city mayors as well as city and town executive councils were contested.
The Philippines is infamous for a brutal brand of democracy where politicians – particularly at local and provincial levels – are willing to bribe, intimidate or kill to ensure they win.
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