The mayor of Carranglan, Nueva Ecija, and his bodyguard were seriously injured in an ambush by gunmen in Guimba town Saturday afternoon, police said.

Mayor Restituto Abad suffered bullet wounds to the face, left arm, and armpit while his driver-bodyguard got hit on the head and neck, Supt. Renato David, Guimba Police chief, said.

“Medyo hindi maganda ‘yung tama nila, si mayor sabi ng doktor ay hopefully maka-karecover, mas masama ‘yung sa security,” David said in a phone interview.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m., while Abad and his escort were passing through Brgy. Saranay on his Ford Everest.

Abad was on his way back to Carranglan from a meeting when one of two men on a motorcycle repeatedly shot at his vehicle’s windshield, David said.

Residents alerted local police of the incident so the lawmen launched a pursuit and captured driver Jose Berlino Gonzales when the motorcycle crashed.

Gonzales said he was only hired by the gunman to drive, but text messages in his cellphone showed he has been contacting the latter about their target, indicating he also served as the “lookout,” according to David.

“Mahirap pang masabi sa ngayon kung ano ang motibo dahil ‘yung bayan niya (Abad) ay napakalayo sa bayan namin, baka nasundan siya dito ng mga kaaway niya,” David said when asked what was the motive for the attack.

“Siguro ‘yung mastermind o nag-utos ay alam na may meeting dito at for sure na a-attend siya (Abad),” the police official added.

Police are still looking for the gunman as of this posting. (John Roson)

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