Blast kills La Union lawmaker’s bodyguards
AGOO, La Union: La Union Rep. Eufranio “Franny” Eriguel, a supporter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, escaped death by a whisker Saturday when a remote controlled bomb placed on a parked motorcycle exploded.
The lawmaker and some supporters were on their way to a campaign sortie when the explosion occurred.
The blast occurred along Verceles Street in Agoo, near Eriguel’s home.
“They detonated the bomb but I already got past the explosion, it was a split second,” he
However, two of Eriguel’s bodyguards who were on the car just behind the lawmaker’s vehicle were killed. Four others were injured.
Eriguel is now on his third and final term as congressman of the province’s second district. His wife, incumbent Agoo Mayor Sandra, who is also on her final term, is running for a seat at the House of Representatives against former La Union 2nd Dist. Rep. Tomas Dumpit, Jr., a former military man.
“It’s hard to point to anybody although there have always been threats in the past. Anyway, the campaign continues,” Eriguel said.
Sandra is running under the ticket of Abono Partylist Rep. Pacoy Ortega, who is running for governor of La Union.
PSupt. Artemio Infante said that the La Union Police Provincial Office is probing the bomb attack.
Binay, the presidential bet f the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), condemned the bombing, noting that Eriguel is a key supporter in La Union.
“Nababahala ako sa tangka sa buhay ni Cong. Eriguel ng La Union. Mula nang magsimula ang kampanya, ang mga kilalang lider at kandidato ng UNA ang naging biktima ng karahasan. Ngunit hanggang ngayon, ni wala kang marinig mula sa mga awtoridad na kongkretong hakbang na ginawa nila upang panagutin ang mga nagplano at nagsagawa ng mga krimeng ito, [I am bothered by this assassination attempt. Since the start of the campaign period, known UNA leaders and candidates have been the target of election related violence. Unfortunately, authorities have not taken concrete steps to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Binay said.
“The harassment of the political opposition bodes ill for our electoral process and our democracy. Such intolerance for political dissent must not be encouraged or tolerated by government inaction. While we condemn these acts of harassment against UNA, let us pray for peace in our land,” he added.
UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan also deplored the attempt on the lawmaker.
“These acts of violence targeting political opponents are deplorable and appalling. The attempt on the life of Cong. Eriguel only shows the barbarity and ruthless nature of the perpetrators who have no regard for law or life,” he said.
Three weeks ago, UNA gubernatorial bet and Marawi City Mayor Sultan Fahad “Pre” Salic, husband of UNA senatorial candidate Alma Moreno, and his driver were ambushed in Cagayon de Oro City.
In March, UNA youth leader Eman Peña of Calauan, Laguna was killed when the vehicle of Mayor Buenafrido Berris was attacked by still unidentified armed men.
Peña is the fourth UNA member killed since the start of the campaign, following the assassination of Sto. Tomas, Batangas councilor Damasino Mabilangan Jr., former Pangutaran, Sulu mayor Ahmad Nanoh and former Banisilan, North Cotabato mayor Floro Allado.