Meycauyan councilors ambushed, 1 critical

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MANILA, Philippines — A councilor of Meycauayan City, Bulacan was in intensive care and scheduled to undergo surgery after he was seriously wounded in an ambush Friday afternoon in which a colleague and their driver were also slightly injured.

Councilors Michael Ramirez and Tomas Rosales left the session hall at City Hall around 2 p.m. and rode together in a car driven by Rico Arceo, heading for Ramirez’s home in Villa Venita Subdivision, Barangay Malhakan, Meycauayan chief of police, Superintendent Lorenzo Kim Cobre, said.

But as the car slowed down at the subdivision gate, Cobre said a motorcycle rider, clad in a jacket with a hood concealing his face, drove up to the side of the car where Ramirez was seated and shot at him twice with a pistol.

Arceo managed to start the car and steer it inside the subdivision but the gunman kept on firing at them, emptying his pistol’s magazine.

All three were taken to the Meycauayan Doctors Hospital from where Rosales, who was grazed by a bullet in the side, and Arceo, who had a minor wound on his right arm, were discharged.

But Ramirez, the apparent target, was admitted to the intensive care unit and scheduled for surgery. The police chief said the official, who ducked as he was shot, was hit by a bullet that entered the upper left portion of his back and traveled toward his nape.

Cobre said Ramirez’ wife confirmed he had received a death threat through text a month ago but could not explain the reason for it.

Investigators recovered nine .45 caliber shells from the crime scene.