crimes in the Philippines

Infanta mayor wounded in ambush

Tina Ganzon-Ozaeta

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Infanta mayor wounded in ambush
Bishop Bernardino Cortez of the Prelate of Infanta and local government officials condemn the attack and call for a halt to violence

Gunmen ambushed and injured the mayor of Infanta town in Quezon province on Sunday, February 27, Governor Danilo Suarez told reporters.

Infanta Mayor Filipina Grace America, 50, was on her way home from church just past noon when still-unidentified assailants blocked her black sports utility vehicle and opened fire.

According to Police Master Sergeant Severino Leopardo of Infanta PNP, America was seated on the front passenger seat and was travelling with a driver in the area of Poblacion Uno in Infanta, Quezon when the attack occurred.

America sustained gunshot wounds to different parts of her body and was rushed to the nearby Claro M. Recto Memorial Hospital. 

Suarez said America would be airlifted to a hospital in Manila.

Authorities recovered seven spent shells of an unknown caliber from the scene. This is a developing story and Rappler will update as new findings come out.

The vice mayor of Infanta, Lord Arnel Ruanto, condemned the crime in a Facebook post.

“Violence has no place in our peaceful town!” he said, urging police to extend all efforts to find the perpetrators.

Bishop Bernardino Cortez, of the Prelate of Infanta condemned the ambush attempt, which happened near a place of worship. 

“Kailanman ay hindi maaaring maging solusyon ang karahasan sa mga suliranin at usapin ng hindi pagkakaunanawaan bagkus magiging daan pa ito ng pagkakahati-hati ng mga tao.,” he said.  (Violence will never be a solution to problems and misunderstandings and, instead, just divide people further.)

The bishop also called on the community to offer prayers for Mayor America and for justice to prevail.

Mayor America is a known opponent of the controversial Kaliwa Dam.  

She is also running for re-election as Mayor of Infanta town under the Nacionalista party.

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