Rest house of ex-mayor tagged in NAIA attack torched

By Roel Pareño, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 13 2014 10:31 AM | Updated as of Jan 13 2014 06:31 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The rest house of a former mayor of Labangan town in Zamboanga del Sur, who was tagged in the gun slaying of the municipality’s mayor at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last Dec. 20, was set on fire along with four other houses last Friday night, authorities said.

Police said the fire broke out in Purok Nandang, Barangay Noburan in Labangan town at around 10 p.m. Friday and gutted the rest house of former mayor Wilson Kitty Nandang and the houses owned by Remedios Surdilla, Jaime Lumusad, Mary Jean Banagan and Florencia Cotongan.

Nandang was implicated in the NAIA shooting that left Labangan Mayor Ukol Talumpa, his wife Lea and nephew Salipudin, and 18-month-old Philip Tomas Estuesta dead and five others wounded.

According to SPO4 Armel Torres, armed men were seen in Purok Nandang before the fire broke out.

Investigation showed that the fire started at Surdilla’s house and rapidly spread to the three other houses and Nandang’s rest house.

No one was reported hurt in the fire which left damage to property estimated at P2.5 million.

Police were tracking the armed men behind the fire, but could not say if the arson was related to Talumpa’s killing.