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Zamboanga town mayor, 3 others killed in NAIA 3 ambush

Gunmen wore police uniforms?

(ABS-CBN News) MANILA (4th UPDATE) – The mayor of Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur and three others were killed in an ambush at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 Friday morning.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said Mayor Ukol Talumpa and several others were shot at by unidentified gunmen at the loading bay area of NAIA 3 at 11:15 a.m., causing panic among the people at the terminal.

Talumpa, his wife Lea, and two others, 25-year-old Salipuddin Talumpa and 18-month-old Philip Thomas Estuesta, were declared dead on arrival at the Vilamor Air Base Hospital.

Four others were injured but Honrado refused to reveal their names. It was not yet established whether the four injured were included in Talumpa's party.

Honrado said Talumpa and his relatives arrived at the airport at around 10 a.m. He came from Zamboanga del Sur via Cebu Pacific flight 5J 852.

He said witnesses are now coordinating with investigators. He also appealed to others who witnessed the shooting to come forward, as he admitted that no closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera was installed to cover the site where the ambush incident occurred.

The MIAA chief, however, said a cellphone video captured the ambush incident and investigators are set to examine it.

Suspects wore police uniforms
Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, director of Southern Police District (SPD), said police checkpoints have been established within 1.5-kilometer radius of the airport.

Villacorte said they received reports that the gunmen were on board a motorcycle and were in police uniforms.

"Magko-coordinate kami ng Aviation Security as to how the investigation will go. [There is] information na may riding-in-tandem in police uniform. Iyun ang information na aming na receive. Iyun ang aming ibinigay sa aming mga stations," he said.

Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) personnel are now processing the crime scene, where blood marks and the victims' luggage were seen.

The victim's other relatives who were at the airport, meanwhile, refused to comment on the incident.

Police are now investigating how the suspects managed to smuggle a firearm, said to be a .45-caliber pistol, inside the NAIA terminal.

Previous attempts

Today's shooting, apparently, was not the first attempt on Talumpa's life.

Last September 19, 2012, a police officer escorting Talumpa, then vice-mayor of Labangan, was injured after an unidentified suspect hurled a grenade at the official's vehicle.

Authorities said the grenade exploded near Talumpa's vehicle while it was parked outside a recruitment agency in San Pedro St., Pagadian City.

Talumpa was inside the vehicle with his wife and another relative when the explosion occurred.

PO1 Mohamad Mangumpara, who was still outside of the vehicle, was the only one hurt in the blast.

Talumpa also escaped a slay try in Ermita, Manila in 2010. – with a report from Dexter Ganibe, dzMM

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