CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Laguna – A reelectionist city councilor and his bodyguard were killed in an ambush by a lone gunman Wednesday afternoon in San Pablo City, less than two weeks before the official start of the election period.
San Pablo City councilor Edgardo Adajar, 55, and his close-in bodyguard, Ronaldo Leonardo, 40, were killed at around 4 p.m. in Barangay (village) Concepcion in the city, said Superintendent Carlos Barde, city police chief.
He said Adajar was dead on the spot while Leonardo died in the hospital three hours after the ambush.
The victims had just stepped out of a cockpit and were about to board the official’s sports utility vehicle when the gunman appeared from behind and shot them at close range, said Barde.
Adajar sustained gunshot wounds in the head and body while Leonardo succumbed to two gunshot wounds in the body.
“According to [Adajar’s] driver, the councilor was already down on the ground when the gunman fired the second shot [hitting Adajar in] the head,” Barde said.
He said it seemed that the gunman, who escaped on a motorcycle driven by another man, carefully planned and waited for his target to come out of the cockpit.
Senior Superintendent Pascual Munoz, Laguna police director, who immediately formed a special task group on the case, said they were pursuing several angles in the investigation.
Among the angles are politics and personal grudges against the councilor, who is also known as a “hard-hitting” anchorman of a local radio station.
Adajar headed the city council’s committee on budget and authored two resolutions that sparked opposition to the P900- and P740- million loan transactions of the city government in 2012.
Members of a civil society group on Friday called on the Commission on Elections to place San Pablo City under its watch for fear the killings of Adajar and Leonardo are just the start of a violent election in May.
But although considered a “high-profile case,” the police have yet to tag the ambush of councilor Edgardo Adajar as poll-related with the motive still undetermined.
Barde also noted that the election period has yet to start until January 13.