BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya: A Presidential adviser has filed criminal charges against the governor of Cagayan province that stemmed from the shooting of the former’s convoy during the recent midterm elections.
Allegedly perpetrated by the governor and his men, the police filed the multiple attempted murder case against Gov. Alvaro Antonio before the provincial prosecutor on May 21 based on the complaints by secretary Manuel Mamba.
Mamba, a three-term congressman of the Third District of Cagayan, is now the presidential legislative liaison officer and Liberal Party (LP) chairman for Cagayan province.
Police Senior Supt. Pedro Danquilan, the task force commander in the investigation of the shooting incident in Alcala town, has recommended the filing of such case.
In his complaint, Mamba accused Antonio as the one who personally fired at their four-vehicle convoy while passing through Antonio’s hometown of Alcala on May 13 at about 2 p.m.
Mamba’s convoy was on their way from Tuguegarao City to Aparri town that time monitoring the conduct of the elections.
Mamba’s brother, three-term Tuao town Mayor William Mamba of the Liberal Party (LP), ran but lost to reelectionist Antonio in their governorship race.
Antonio belongs to the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) allied with the Team Cagayan of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
“I saw the governor holding an AK47 assault rifle, standing in front of the Alcala town hall with his two aides also armed with long and short firearms while our convoy was passing through the national highway,” Mamba said.
The governor, Mamba said, appeared drunk as he seemed unstable on his feet holding a long firearm which looked like an AK47 assault rifle.
“I was so shocked when I saw him aiming the rifle straight at the vehicle I was in,” he said.
Mamba said the governor fired shots at them with one of the bullets hitting the radiator of one of their vehicles, a dark green Ford Expedition, which was their fourth and last convoy vehicle with two civilians and a police escort onboard.
He said that he was in the first vehicle convoy, a white Toyota Fortuner, with four others including another police escort.
“Upon hearing the successive gunshots, I immediately ordered the driver to speed away. Our convoy proceeded to the neighboring town of Gattaran to blotter the incident,” Mamba said.
Corroborating Mamba’s claim, several witnesses, including local residents stated in their respective sworn affidavits of seeing the governor brandishing an AK47 rifle while Mamba’s four-vehicle convoy was passing Alcala town proper.
Besides Antonio, also included in the complaint by Mamba were several John Does.
However, earlier pronouncements from Antonio’s camp denied the allegations claiming that Antonio was at his residence resting when he heard gunshots nearby during the incident.
“This was a mere excuse from the Mambas for their defeat in the last elections,” Antonio said denying that the gunshots came from their group which linked him to the incident.
In their hometown, the Mambas, however, retained the mayoralty post in Tuao town. Another brother, Antonio, also overwhelmingly won the post in the 2010 elections.