Gunman, bodyguard killed in attack on Samar ex-mayor

TACLOBAN CITY — A former mayor of San Jose de Buan town in Samar was seriously wounded while his bodyguard was killed in a pre-dawn attack on Monday.

Ananias Rebato, 57, is still recovering at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in this city after sustaining gunshot wounds when four armed men attacked him during a fiesta celebration in Babaclayon village, San Jose de Buan town past 1 a.m.

Rebato’s bodyguard, Severino Tesoro, 24, died in the incident. He was able to fire back at their attackers and killed one of the suspects, according to reports reaching the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office in Palo, Leyte.

The other three gunmen managed to escape from the crime scene.

The dead bodies were brought to Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan City, the provincial capital, for examination.

Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) director, said the police launched manhunt operations to arrest those behind the attack.

“We already sent directives to nearby police stations to look after the suspects and limit their movement. My order is to track and arrest them,” Carlos told reporters in a press briefing Monday.

Rebato, whose clan ruled the town for decades, served as mayor of San Jose de Buan town from 2007 to 2016. He is reportedly planning to run in next year’s elections.

San Jose de Buan is a fourth class town in Samar with a population of 7,769 in 14 villages. The town is 121 kilometers away from this city, passing through a mix of paved, gravel, and muddy roads. Sarwell Meniano/