COTABATO CITY: What would have been a festive Christmas party and family reunion turned bloody after a lone gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire, killing a political figure and two others, while wounding another on Sunday night in Sultan Kudarat.
Senior Supt. Raul Supiter, Sultan Kudarat provincial police director, said Peter Dumrique, a defeated mayoralty candidate in the May 2016 elections, Ernesto Ayson and Florante Guillermo died from multiple gunshots.
The wounded victim was identified as Oyet Mateo.
Police said the victims were having a Christmas party with other family members and guests at Dumrique’s residence in Barangay Katiku in President Quirino town when the suspect arrived and started shooting at the victims, reportedly targeting the politician.
Dumrique and the two others died on the spot while Mateo was in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital.
Initial investigation showed that the suspect apparently approached the party site by crawling on a grassy area and opened fire using an M-16 armalite rifle.
Supiter said Dumrique has been receiving death threats that he has requested for security escorts identified as Senior Police Officer 1 Jonathan La Forteza of Lambayong police and Corporal Ruel Dordas of the Philippine Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion.
La Forteza managed to return fire but failed to catch up with the gunman who immediately fled backriding a waiting motorcycle driven by an unidentified man.
Dordas left the party hours before the shooting.