2013 elections claims its first victim: UNA party exec gunned down
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 6PM) The provincial chairman for Albay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and a former close aide of Vice President Jejomar Binay was gunned down Friday in what appears to be the first election-related killing as political parties and candidates prepare for the early October filings at the Commission on elections.
Nelson Morales, 55, who served for many years as Makati city engineer when the premier financial district was under the mayorship of Binay, was also UNA’S mayoral bet for Malinao town in Albay.
In a statement, the Vice President called on the Philippine National Police to go after the perpetrators of this crime. “The family of Nelson Morales deserves justice,” Binay added.
Shot as he was leaving church
According to local media, Morales was shot as he was leaving church after serving as a wedding sponsor Friday morning, along with the vice mayor of Malinao town.
Three men carried out the assassination. One man embraced him as the other shot him in the lungs and stomach. Another fired several rounds of automatic rifle fire into the crowd to scare spectators.
Morales was rushed to a hospital in Tabaco town nearby, but died at 2 p.m., according to Joey Salgado, spokesman of Vice President Binay.
“I mourn the killing of Nelson Morales, who was my city engineer during my term as Makati mayor. At the time of his death, he was chairman for Albay of the United Nationalist Alliance,” Binay said, referring to the alliance forged by PDP Laban and the Partido ng Masang Pilipino of former President Joseph Estrada.
Binay said, “Nelson approached me early this year and sought my advice on his plan to run for mayor of his hometown of Malinao, Albay. I said I admired his dedication to public service and his desire to serve his hometown. He told me that for so many years he has served the people and City of Makati. It's about time that he serves his hometown and his kababayans. His desire to serve, however, ended today in the hands of assassins,” the vice president lamented.
Makati government mourns 'loss of a good man'
The Makati city government issued this statement: “Nelson Morales was a hardworking city official and a dependable co-worker. He is also one of several city officials who enjoyed the full trust of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay during his term as mayor, and incumbent Mayor Jun Binay.
“At the time of his death, he was planning to run for mayor of Malinao, Albay, believing that he can bring to the people of his hometown the kind of service and dedication he gave to the people and city of Makati.
“We extend our deepest condolences to his family, with whom we share a deep sense of loss over the senseless killing of a good man.”
Tiangco deplores killing
In a separate statement, UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco condemned the murder of Morales.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Engr. Nelson Morales in their time of grief. We mourn the death of a good man and we reiterate the hope that the authorities will be able to arrest those behind this senseless killing,” said Tiangco.