By Martin Sadongdong
The former vice mayor of Santo Tomas, Batangas was shot by an unidentified assailant Saturday night, the latest in a string of gun attacks involving prominent personalities.
Superintendent Chitadel Gaoiran, Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) spokesperson, identified the victim as Ferdinand Ramos, 59, of Barangay Poblacion 2, Santo Tomas, Batangas.
Initial investigation revealed that Ramos was on his way home around 7:25 p.m. when the gunman suddenly appeared and shot him in the face point blank.
According to Senior Police Officer 1 Joel Banta, case investigator, Ramos just came from a local church when he was attacked.
“Mag-isa lang siya naglalakad dahil kakagaling lang sa simbahan. Bigla na lang may lumapit na lalaki tapos binaril sa mukha,” Banta told the Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.
Police said the victim was rushed to Saint Cabrini Hospital where he was given immediate treatment.
After the shooting incident, the gunman immediately fled on foot, the police added.
Investigators have conducted a follow-up investigation to identify the gunman and determine the motive behind the killing.
According to Gaoiran, Ramos was elected vice mayor of Santo Tomas town from 2013 to 2016 under the Para sa Masang Batangueño (PMB) party.
In 2016, he ran for re-election but eventually lost.
Prior to Ramos’ case, a number of killings involving local elected officials sparked public concern in the past week involving the deaths of Tanauan, Batangas Mayor Antonio Halili; General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote; and Trece Martires Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan to name a few.
However, the Philippine National Police allayed fears and said there is no clear pattern in the series of killings.