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CONG. VARF BELMONTE SURVIVES AMBUSH



By FRANK E. DOSDOS, JR. | Managing Editor

ILIGAN CITY, December 15 -- The representative of the lone district of Iligan City narrowly survived a daylight ambush along the access road of Laguindingan Airport at about 1:30 o’clock in the afternoon last December 11.

In an interview with Media after the incident, Congressman Vicente “Varf” F. Belmonte, Jr. said that his vehicle was going up the road from the airport to the national highway when a white van from the opposite direction turned left toward their lane as if to make a U-turn but came straight ahead and stopped about 10 meters in front of them and blocked their way.


He added that he told his driver to stop in order not to hit the white van.

Then, the door of the white van opened and three men with Armalites got out and immediately pointed their guns toward them, he continued.

He said that he bent down for cover and in a split second automatic fire came from the direction of the armed men and he heard bullets whizzing above them.

When the firing stopped, his bodyguard seated behind him fired from inside their vehicle at the attackers who immediately boarded their vehicle and drove away.

He told Media that the back-up vehicle that was trailing behind stopped probably to assist but they were also fired upon from the grassy side of the road.

Two of his policemen bodyguards identified as Marcos Andres and Ian Dumaguing and the driver of the back-up vehicle, Eustaquio Silawan were killed on the spot, it was reported.

Belmonte sustained bruises and small wounds probably struck by fragments of their vehicle’s windshield.

His Chief Security Officer, Rio Don, seated behind who was forced down by the sudden braking of the vehicle got contusions believed to be hit by a blunt object on the tip of his upper lip and on his mandible a few inches below his left ear.

It was reported that the white van, bearing Plate No. KVW 407 used by the ambushers was found later burned with firearms inside at a secluded area in a nearby barangay.

Asked what could be the motive of the attempt on his life, Belmonte replied that it was politically motivated.

He added that he had announced his intention to run for Mayor in 2016.

Personalities close to Belmonte said that the Congressman has no personal enemies because he has helped many people and did a splendid job as a public servant.

The police and the NBI are now investigating the case.

RANAO STAR
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