The mayor of Maitum, Sarangani, died Saturday morning after being ambushed by armed men Friday night, police said.

Mayor George Perrett expired at a hospital in General Santos City 2:40 a.m. because of cardiac arrest and loss of blood, after suffering a bullet wound to the leg, Supt. Jomar Alexis Yap, Sarangani provincial police deputy director, said by phone.

Perrett’s wife Elsie Lucille, a former mayor of Maitum, was not hurt in the attack but one of the couple’s aides, Andelma Andal, was injured, Yap said.

The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m., while Perrett, his wife, and some of ther aides were passing through Purok Bugo, Brgy. Malalag, on their Toyota Fortuner.

“Before that, galing sila sa municipal gymnasium kasi may program na singing, may pasayaw, natapos ito ng mga 10 p.m., nagta-travel sila pabalik ng bahay nang i-ambush,” Yap said.

Perrett was driving the vehicle and had no police escort. “According sa chief of police, ayaw niya magpasama sa mga pulis dahil wala naman siyang kalaban,” Yap said.

Initial investigation showed that three or more men fired upon Perrett’s vehicle from the hills beside the road.

Spent shells of an M16 rifle, a caliber-.45 pistol, and a 12-gauge shotgun were found at the scene.

“Accordingly, itong mga armado ay parang nakatago sa gilid ng kalsada, ‘yun ang analysis namin. Sabi kasi nung mga kasama ni mayor, wala silang nakitang ibang sasakyan nung time na ‘yun, basta pinutukan na lang daw sila,” Yap said.

Perrett, his wife, and Andal were initially brought to the Maitum Hospital, but were later transferred to the Saint Elizabeth Hospital in General Santos City, said Senior Insp. Aldrin Gonzales, Central Mindanao regional police spokesman.

“Sa ngayon wala pa kaming nakikitang possible motive kasi bagong mayor siya (Perrett) at mabait naman pag nakakausap namin, so ngayon nire-review namin kung may threats ba sa kanya, at ‘yung projects niya,” Yap said.

“Masusing iniimbestigahan ‘yung kaso and we will probably create an SITG (special investigation task group) for this,” he added. (John Roson)

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