MANILA (UPDATED) -- The mayor of Maitum in Sarangani province died early morning on Saturday following an ambush attempt against his life on Friday night.
Police said Mayor George Perrett was driving home after attending a program at the municipal gym when his vehicle was fired upon by still unidentified suspects along the national highway in Purok Bugo, Barangay Malalag at around 10 p.m.
Perrett sustained a gunshot wound in his left thigh.
He passed away in St. Elizabeth Hospital in General Santos City due to cardiac arrest at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, police said.
Perrett was with his wife, former mayor Elsie Perrett, a secretary, and a househelp when the ambush took place.
His househelp, Adelma Andal, sustained minor injuries, and is now in good condition.
According to Elsie, shots were fired from both sides of the road.
The family, however, is clueless as to who ordered the ambush.
Elsie said they never had security escorts since her husband was always confident that no one would harm them.
Recovered from the crime scene were 13 empty bullet shells from an M16 rifle, two from a .45-caliber pistol, and another from a 12-gauge shotgun.
Police are still investigating the motive behind the ambush and the identity of the suspects.
Meanwhile, the new mayor of Maitum has been sworn in following the death of Perrett.
Vice Mayor Pepito Catimbang took oath on Saturday afternoon.
Councilor Jean Ablog, meanwhile, was sworn in as vice mayor.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the post must be filled within 24 hours. -- Reports from Rean Hacosta and Francis Canlas, ABS-CBN News SOCCSKSARGEN