Misamis Occidental

Misamis Occidental governor blames attempt on his life on narco-politics

Herbie Gomez

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Misamis Occidental governor blames attempt on his life on narco-politics

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The League of Provinces of the Philippines calls on authorities to investigate the attempt on Governor Henry Oaminal's life and ensure that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Misamis Occidental Governor Henry Oaminal attributed the recent attempt on his life to narco-politics, which he claimed is attempting to reestablish itself in the province.

Oaminal and his group narrowly escaped death during a highway explosion in Clarin town while en route to Ozamiz City less than an hour before midnight on Sunday, October 15.

Oaminal said on Wednesday, October 18, the attack was orchestrated by those behind narco-politics, who were trying to make a comeback in the province. 

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He noted that those who exploded the improvised explosive device had the audacity to carry out the attack, given that there was a police outpost nearby.

He said the crime group wanted him out because of the progress of the province in terms of peace and order.

Oaminal said crime rates have decreased significantly, and most of the barangays in Misamis Occidental have been cleared of illegal drugs.

“They want drugs to make a comeback. I am the obstacle,” Oaminal said.

Misamis Occidental was notorious for the illicit drug trade and other organized criminal activities until the 2017 Ozamiz City raid, which resulted in the death of more than a dozen people, including the then-mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, his wife, and other family members.

Parojinog was in then-president Rodrigo Duterte’s narco list, and the bloody raid was carried out as part of his controversial war on drugs.

The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) called on authorities to investigate the attempt on Oaminal’s life and ensure that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice.

The provincial board of Misamis Occidental, the provincial chapters of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), and the Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL) also condemned the attack and appealed to law enforcement groups to prioritize the case.

South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., LPP national president, said, “It was fortunate that no one was harmed when the bomb went off, but such a brazen and dastardly act has no place in a civilized world.”

The provincial governors’ group noted that the attack on October 15 was just one of the “cowardly acts of violence” against Misamis Occidental’s governor. The LPP said Sunday’s bomb attack marked the fourth attempt on Oaminal’s life.

On December 22, 2021, Oaminal had a near-death experience when a sniper fired a shot during a Christmas party organized by his political group, Team Asenso, in Tangub City. 

The merrymaking was abruptly interrupted as a single gunshot rang out, hitting Oaminal’s running mate, Michael Gutierrez, who was just behind him at the time.

Oaminal sustained minor injuries from flying debris, while Gutierrez died at a later time in the hospital. – Rappler.com

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