MANILA (UPDATED) - The mayor of Urbiztondo town in Pangasinan and two other people were killed while four others were wounded in an ambush on Saturday morning, police said.
Initial investigation showed that Mayor Ernesto Balolong Jr. was checking the venue for his 25th wedding anniversary celebration and his son Volter's wedding tomorrow when five unidentified men on board a Toyota Innova vehicle passed by and openend fire.
The shooting incident occurred near his home and just behind a local mall at around 9 a.m.
Balolong, who sustained multiple gunshot wounds mostly in the chest, was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
The other fatalities were identified as PO1 Eliseo Ulanday, Balolong's police escort, and Edmund Meneses, a mall employee and resident of Dagupan City.
At least four other people were wounded in the shooting incident.
One of them was identified as Rex Ferrer, a bodyguard of the mayor. The three others were all bystanders -- one is a taho vendor while two are mall employees.
Police later recovered the suspects' getaway vehicle abandoned in Barangay Caoayan-Kiling in San Carlos City, Pangasinan, 3 kilometers away from the crime scene.
Authorities are still investigating the motive behind the ambush.
Checkpoints have been put up at entry and exit points in Urbiztondo following the incident.
Task Force Balolong was also formed to expedite the investigation on the killing.
Balolong was involved in a controversy in November last year when his house was raided by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Investigators found from his home 16 firearms and other high-powered weapons, as well as hundreds of ammunition. -- Reports from Nica Tomines, ABS-CBN News Pangasinan; Dennis Datu, dzMM