Ex-congressman who shot himself says it was 'pure accident'
MANILA, Philippines – What his colleagues in the House of Representatives announced as a suicide attempt was a "pure accident," former Cagayan de Oro City Rep Benjo Benaldo said Monday, July 15.
Speaking to media for the first time since the June 27 incident, Benaldo said, "Let me state for the record that what happened in my office in the House of Representatives in the evening of June 27, 2013 which very nearly took my life was a pure accident."
He also said his wife, Brazilian model-actress Daiana Menezes, "had nothing to do with the accident." Menezes, who earlier posted on Instagram photos of bruised parts of her body – indicating domestic violence – "was not even in my office" when the "accident" happened.
"I thank my staff for their quick action and my doctors for doing everything to save my life. But I know that I owe my life today to no one but to God alone. In my darkest moments when I lay dying, I prayed to Him to let me live and He responded by giving me the strength and the will to survive. To me his message is clear: Live and carry on with the good work you have started to do and continue the good fight for the people. And I shall do so," he added.
This contradicts the statement issued by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr on June 28, a day after the incident. He said Benaldo sustained a gun shot wound to the chest "which now indicates he attempted to take his own life."
Benaldo apparently shot himself in the chest on June 27, while inside his office at Room 512 of the South Wing Building of the Batasan complex in Quezon City. He used a 9mm pistol.
Reports said the upper lobe of the Benaldo's left lung was removed in a surgery. although he was already declared out of danger. Last week, in fact, Menezes was seen in a public event - the FHM 100 Sexiest at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Benaldo lost his re-election bid to Liberal Party bet Klarex Uy. Before the incident, he and Menezes also reportedly had a marital spat after the latter posted photos on her Instagram account suggesting that she is a victim of domestic violence. The couple married in Las Vegas, Nevada, in December 2012. – Rappler.com