Cops still facing blank wall in Surigao Mayor’s ambush that wounded daughter, cop escort

by Ben Serrano

      April 20, 2011


            SURIGAO CITY (PNA)  - Surigao del Norte Provincial Police Office headed by Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Emmanuel Talento today said that while investigation in the slay attempt of Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte Mayor Cesar Diaz on Monday morning is on-going and no let up, Talento said as of press time police still facing blank wall to officially identify the culprits and their mastermind.


            “But we have mobilized all our intelligence assets as we suspected many angles in the motives like politics, communist rebels and other armed groups or hired assassins behind the assassination attempt of Mayor Diaz” Talento told newsmen.


           Talento claimed they are also eyeing business rivalry or personal grudges as Mayor Diaz aside from being a Mayor is also a businessman operating fleet of dump trucks for hire for mining companies operating in the area and in the province.


Earlier Caraga Police .Regional Director Chief Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal ordered no let-up in the investigation of the ambush that wounded Mayor Diaz’ 17 year old daughter and a police escort.


In 2001, then Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte Mayor Victor Elipe was shot dead by armed men who later confessed they belonged to the New People’s Army during  a Barangay Pulong-Pulong in Barangay Poblacion Tagana-an.


In 2004 and 2007 elections three have fallen by assassins’ bullets and one wounded at the height of election campaign.

In 2010 elections, a campaigner of Surigao del Norte First District Congressman Guillermo Romarate, Jr was shot dead also in Tagana-an. Days after the killing, another campaigner of rival political party of Romarate and Mayor Diaz was also shot dead.


Taganaan town chief of police Senior Inspector Alex Gardonas said of the twelve gunshots fired at the vehicle of Mayor Diaz by which he was the one driving only one empty bullet was found inside his black Toyota Fortuner.


“This is because surrounding the ambush area were grassy portion and all were long grasses which is difficult to find”, Gardonas said.


Police identified those wounded in the attack were Carmen Andrea C. Diaz, 17, daughter of Mayor Diaz and PO2 Anthony Pontevedra, police escort of the Mayor. Both were hit by fragments on foot and right leg respectively


 Police record show that at around 11:20 a.m. , the Tagana-an Mayor and his companions boarding a black Toyota Fortuner driven by the Mayor himself were ambushed by unidentified armed men at the provincial road boundary of Barangays Laurel and Union, in said municipality while traveling from Taganaan to Surigao City,


            Mayor Diaz vehicle bore twelve (12) bullet holes as a result of the ambush but the Mayor escaped unhurt as Mayor police escort managed to fight back despite wounded. The suspects sensing responding units from the police and military immediately fled away from the crime scene.


            The wounded victims however are now safe after getting medical treatment at the Caraga regional hospital here in Surigao City.(PNA/Ben Serrano)

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