MANILA — Investigators are looking into whether or not politics is connected to the fatal shooting of a vice mayor from Masbate province in Manila earlier this week, police said Thursday.
Batuan Vice Mayor Charlie Yuson III was having breakfast in Sampaloc district when he was gunned down by suspects who were on board a van, Wednesday. Two of his companions were wounded.
Yuson's son, Charmax Jan Yuson, won as mayor last elections against Marco Martin Cam, the son of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Board member Sandra Cam, noted Manila Police District's homicide section chief Cpt. Henry Navarro.
Five of the Yusons' supporters were killed in the lead-up to the elections, Navarro said, quoting information from relatives.
"Isa rin po iyan (pulitika) sa anggulong tinitingnan natin. We have yet to receive the actual and sworn statement [ng mga witness] para po maging konkreto ang bagay na iyan," he told radio DZMM.
(That is one of the angles we are looking at. We have yet to receive the actual and sworn statements of the witnesses so that issue will be concrete.)
Investigators, he said, also coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to check whether or not the elder Yuson was in its watchlist.
"Iyon ay dagdag na impormasyon lang sa amin. Hindi naman natin sinasabing konektado sa ilegal na droga ang pamamaril kasi napakarami pong puwedeng maging anggulo o motibo," Navarro said.
(That's just additional information for us. We are not saying that the shooting was connected to illegal drugs because there are so many possible angles or motives.)
Yuson was in Manila to buy a backhoe for his province and visit his brother, who is a barangay chairman in Sampaloc, said the MPD official.
Authorities arrested 4 suspects in the crime with the help of residents who immediately reported the shooting, allowing all MPD units to go on alert, he said.
Six witnesses saw one of the suspects get off from the van, but said they cannot identify his facial features covered by a mask and could only describe his built and height, added Navarro.
Yuson's assassination was "well planned", judging by the high-caliber firearms used by the suspects, he said.
A companion of the vice mayor was hit by a stray bullet during the attack while another suffered scratches. Both are now in "stable condition," he said.