The vice mayor of Aparri town in Cagayan province and five of his companions were killed in an ambush in Nueva Vizcaya on Sunday, police said.
The fatalities were Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda, who was on his third term and was being groomed to run for mayor in the next elections, and his aides, initial police reports said.
The victims were on board a black Hyundai Starex van headed for Aparri when masked gunmen wearing police uniforms opened fire on the vehicle.
The assailants, on board a white Mitsubishi Adventure with government plates, blocked the highway near the MV Duque Elementary School in Bagabag town and when Alameda’s car approached, they riddled it with bullets.
The victims were taken to the Region 2 Trauma and Medical Center but were declared dead on arrival.
The killers later fled toward Solano.
In a separate incident, the suspect in the 2022 killing of the police chief of Ampatuan town and his driver in Maguindanao del Sur province was killed in a police operation Saturday.
Abdulkarim Hasim (alias Boy Jacket) was killed at 6:30 a.m. in Purok Yellow Bell, Barangay New Isabela, Tacurong City, Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said Sunday.
Hasim was identified as the main perpetrator in the slaying of Ampatuan police chief Lt. Reynaldo Samson and his driver, Cpl. Salipuden Endad, in Barangay Kapinpilan in August 2022.
Azurin said Hasim was gunned down by security forces as he resisted arrest during the serving of a warrant of arrest for murder and double frustrated murder.
Azurin has ordered a gun ban in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Cotabato after Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. was ambushed Friday.
Adiong’s convoy was en route to Wao, Lanao del Sur at 4 p.m. when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen in Kalilangan, Bukidnon. Three of the governor’s police escorts and his driver were killed. Adiong and a staff member were injured.
Members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Lanao del Sur chapter on Saturday condemned the ambush, saying it was “an attack against us, the people of Lanao del Sur, and a travesty on our morals.”
Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong, brother of the governor, on Saturday said they were not aware of any death threats against him.