THE vice mayor of Jones town in Isabela who is seeking reelection was shot dead by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) who blocked his convoy while campaigning in a remote village on Wednesday.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said Vice Mayor Ronaldo Lucas and his team were travelling along Sitio Dinangnang in Barangay Dicamay Uno when stopped by about 100 armed men who introduced themselves as members of the NPA’s “Camus Command”.
Lucas and his convoy were going to villages of Santa Isabel, Dicamay Uno and Dicamay Dos in Jones to campaign and brought with them relief goods and calamity assistance.
Mayor said that the armed men had asked for the group’s permit to campaign and took their cellphones, relief goods, and cash worth around P670,000.
The armed men then asked the convoy to leave, leaving behind Lucas, his two bodyguards and two volunteers.
The vice mayor’s driver was later told by the rebels to leave and fetch other members of their convoy that already arrived in Dicamay Dos.
About two hours later, Lucas’ driver received information that the body of the vice mayor was found beside his vehicle with at least three gunshot wounds.
Mayor added that Isabela police are still conducting an investigation but declined to say if the case can be considered as an Election Related Violent Incident (ERVI).
Prior to Lucas’ death, the PNP had recorded at least 42 people killed and 23 others wounded in at least 65 incidents monitored since the start of the election period on January 10.
The PNP National Election Monitoring Action Center (NEMAC) said that of the 42 killed 21 were elected officials, two were former government officials and two were seeking reelection in the May 9 synchronized elections.