Gov Imee condemns Ilocos Norte town vice mayor’s ambush

LAOAG CITY — Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa ‘Imee” Marcos has condemned the failed assassination attempt against Marcos town Vice Mayor Jessie Ermitanio on Tuesday evening, April 4, along a village road in Daquioag in the Municipality of Marcos .

Barely a few days after the March 29 Provincial Peace and Order Council Meeting, Marcos said the province has been “peaceful and quiet even during the election period until this attack occurred.

Report from the Marcos police station said the incident took place around 7:30 pm Tuesday near the Padsan River in Barangay Daquioag, Marcos town when Vice Mayor Ermitanio, 42, single and resident of Barangay Elizabeth, and three other companions were attacked by suspected goons for hire.

Police investigators said the victims were onboard a Toyota Fortuner with plate number AAR 3215, coming from Elizabeth village after a field visit at the eastern barangays of Marcos when the attackers fired at them several times.

As he was seated at the car’s back seat, Ermitanio said in a radio interview that he managed to jump off the vehicle and fired back at the gun men.

Responding police personnel brought the victims at the Doña Josefa Edralin Marcos District Hospital, in Marcos town, for medical treatment but Ermitanio’s driver identified as Lucky Jesrel Rumbaoa, 21, was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physician Dr. Roland Andres.

The vice mayor was wounded on his shoulder and left thigh. The other two victims—Ricky Florendo, 32, a native of Abra who is a body guard of Ermitanio, and Edralene Arellano, 26, a staff of the vice mayor also sustained gunshot wounds on different parts of their body. They are now recovering at the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City where they were transferred for further treatment.

As of this posting, the newly-formed Ermitanio Task Group is conducting deeper investigation into the incident while conducting drug net operation against the suspects.

“We condemn this attack and condole with the bereaved driver’s family. It’s a blot on our record and we will spare no effort in investigating and bringing perpetrators to justice,” said the governor in a statement. LEILANI ADRIANO/PNA –