Zambo Sur mayor, wife, 2 others shot dead at NAIA airport, Manila PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 December 2013 11:29

The mayor of Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur and three others were shot dead before noon yesterday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, according to Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).

Mayor Ukol Talumpa was declared dead on arrival at the Philippine Air Force General Hospital, said Honrado.

Honrado said that four people were also injured in the shooting.

Among those killed was Talumpa’s wife, Lea. The two other fatalities were Salipudin Talumpa and Phil Thomas Lirasan, a one-year-and-a-half-old child.

Honrado said Mayor Talumpa had just arrived at the airport from Cebu with his family when the incident happened at 11:15 a.m. The gunman reportedly waited for the mayor at the loading bay just outside the airport building.

The manager said he received information that two suspects who were riding tandem in a motorcycle tandem were involved in the incident. The assailants were reportedly wearing police uniforms.

An Amateur video shot by witness Fernand Imperial shortly after the shooting shows unidentified bodies lying on the street and sidewalk in front of the terminal, with companions seemingly still too shocked to call for help. The mayor’s group appeared to be waiting for their ride when they were attacked.

Airport security personnel tried to run after the assailants but failed to catch them, said Honrado.

At least 20 slugs were recovered in the crime scene.

Honrado said they will cooperate with the police in the investigation of the shooting even as he asked the witnesses to come forward.

No closed-circuit television (CCTV) was installed at the loading bay where the incident happened, according to airport security official Corporal Honorio Carbiño.

Previous attacks

Talumpa was the apparent target of a previous assassination attempt in September 2012, a grenade attack in Pagadian City. At the time, Talumpa was Labangan vice mayor. He and his wife survived the attack, but his security officer was hurt.

In 2010, Talumpa was wounded along with his nephew Alimodin Silad after a shooting incident in Manila. They were leaving a building in downtown Manila in a car when they were shot.

Yesterday’s incident took place during the peak Christmas travel season, when thousands of Filipinos go home for the holidays.

It was not immediately known how the gunmen were able to sneak past airport security, which checks all vehicles entering the airport premises. — With report from GMA News