Convoy of La Union congressman bombed

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The convoy of La Union 2nd District Representative Eufranio Eriguel was attacked on Saturday, April 30.

"Cong. Eriguel's convoy was bombed 40 minutes ago. His back up car exploded and killed the two passengers," Joey Salgado, spokesperson of Vice President Jejomar Binay, said in a text message received by Rappler at around 1 pm.

"Luckily, Cong. Eriguel, who was in his car, survived," he added.

GMA News and the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that 4 people were hurt and were rushed to the hospital. It is unclear whether the two casualties as claimed by Salgado were among the 4 injured.

Quoting La Union provincial police, GMA News said that the attack happened at around 9 am. The bomb was said to be rigged to a motorcycle which struck the back-up car.

Eriguel, who supports Binay's presidential bid, won as congressman in 2013 under the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC) banner.

In 2016, his wife, Agoo town mayor Sandra Eriguel, is seeking to replace him in Congress.

If proven to be related to the 2016 polls, this incident adds to a string of "politically-motivated" killings, assaults, and harassment before election day. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) reported in April that from June 2015 to March 2016, there have been 49 such instances.

Binay hits gov't 'inaction' 

In a statement on Saturday, Binay expressed his concern over this incident and many others involving members of his party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). 

"Nababahala ako sa tangka sa buhay ni Cong. Eriguel ng La Union," he said. (I am worried about the attempt on the life of Congressman Eriguel of La Union.)

The Vice President then lamented the government's "inaction" following "acts of harassment" against UNA members. He claimed that since the start of the campaign, many notable UNA leaders and candidates had been victims of election-related violence and harassment.

"Ngunit hanggang ngayon, ni wala kang marinig mula sa mga awtoridad na kongkretong hakbang na ginawa nila upang panagutin ang mga nagplano at nagsagawa ng mga krimeng ito," Binay added. 

(But until now, we have yet to hear from authorities about the concrete actions they have taken to go after the persons who planned and committed these crimes.)

"The harassment of the political opposition bodes ill for our electoral process and our democracy. Such intolerance for political dissent must not be encouraged or tolerated by government inaction," he continued. 

Finally, the VP condemned these incidents against UNA and asked everybody to "pray for peace in our land." –