MANILA (2nd UPDATE) — The camp of Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential bet Leody de Guzman said at least five people were injured after gunshots were fired during the candidates' meeting Tuesday with the Manobo-Pulangiyon leaders in Bukidnon.
Of those injured, 4 were members of the indigenous people's (IP) group including one of their Datu. The other victim is a volunteer advocate.
De Guzman's media relations officer Ala Panganiban identified the five as:
- Bae Charita Anglao Delsocorro — IP
- Datu Didilusan Arroyo — IP Datu
- Orlando Lingaolingao — IP
- Nanie Abella — volunteer advocate of IPs
- Eger Dabatian — IP
In a press conference, de Guzman said that the victims were already brought to the hospital. There were no fatal injuries but Abella will undergo an x-ray procedure.
"Nagkaroon na ng first aid na paggagamot at wala fatal na tama. Pero ‘yung isa, kailangang i-x-ray dahil mukhang ‘yung bala nandoon pa sa katawan niya. May ganoong suspetsa. Para matiyak daw na ‘yung bala hindi pumasok doon sa katawan, kaya sa-subject siya sa x-ray. ‘Yun si Nanie," the labor leader told reporters.
(There was first aid treatment and nothing was fatally wounded. But the other one had to be x-rayed because it looked like the bullet was still inside his body. There is such a suspicion. So to make sure that the bullet did not enter the body, he will undergo an x-ray procedure. That's Nanie.)
"Salamat sa mga nag-alala. Ako po at sila kasamang Roy Cabonegro at David D'Angelo ay ligtas," de Guzman said on Twitter after the incident that happened in Barangay Butong in Quezon town.
Cabonegro and D'Angelo are senatorial candidates in the May elections under the ticket of de Guzman.
Their group met the Manobo-Pulangiyon leaders to discuss the land-grabbing issues faced by the indigenous group.
D'Angelo told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo that the suspect used a shotgun. De Guzman said the perpetrator is a security staff of Quezon Mayor Pablo Lorenzo III.
Lorenzo denied having any knowledge about the incident, saying he was in a campaign activity.
"I really don't have the exact details... I'm waiting for the chief of police to arrive to give me what really transpired. I am not aware that naa diha si Mr. Leody De Guzman, that he was there," he said.
De Guzman said it is not clear if he was the target of the shooting, but he noted that Abella was certainly the first to get hit.
"Hindi ko masabi na ako ‘yung target dahil alam ko naman na hindi ako taga-roon. Pero posible rin. Pero mahirap ko lang na makumpirma na masabing ako ‘yung target," the presidential aspirant said.
(I can't say I'm the target because I know I'm not from there. But it's also possible. Although, it's hard for me to confirm that I'm the target.)
"Pero ang realidad, katabi ko ‘yung unang tinamaan. 'Yung unang putok ay tumama roon sa katabi ko na ang pagitan siguro ay 1 foot lang kasi katabi ko siya… Pwedeng isipin, pero mahirap pong kumpirmahin," he added.
(But the reality is, I was seated next to the person who got hit first. We were only one foot apart from each other. We may think I was the target, but it’s hard to confirm.)
As he awaits the decision of the indigenous group for their next action, de Guzman voiced out his call for peace in Mindanao.
"Ang usapan doon, pagkatapos makausap ‘yung mga datu ay itutuloy nila ‘yung laban. Pero magkakaroon sila ng assessment at magbabago ng porma ng paggigiit nung kanilang karapatan doon sa kanilang lupang ninuno," he said.
(The agreement there after talking to the datus is that they will continue the fight. But they will have an assessment and change the form of assertion of their right to their ancestral land.)
"‘Yun ay pagpapasiya nila. At kung anuman ang mapagkasunduan ulit ay ipapaabot sa amin kung paano naman ang aming grupo ay makakatulong ulit doon sa kanilang laban," he added.
(That is their decision. And if anything can be agreed upon, we will be informed so our group can figure out how to help them again in their fight.)