MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Gunmen ambushed political campaigners for a southern Philippine town mayor, killing his daughter and nine other supporters and relatives, police said Friday. The mayor and eight other people were wounded.
Nunungan Mayor Abdul Manamparan and his supporters were riding on a truck when they were ambushed late Thursday on a remote mountain road as they headed back to the town center following a campaign rally, said Lanao del Norte provincial police chief Gerardo Rosales.
About 15 unidentified gunmen carried out the attack, Rosales said. Police investigators suspect the gunmen belong to a rival clan.
Manamparan, whose term as mayor ends this year, is running for vice mayor in next month’s elections.
Rosales said Manamparan’s daughter, Adnanie, and two relatives were among those killed. Two relatives, including a 15-year-old girl, were among the wounded.
A police report said an officer serving as the mayor’s bodyguard was also wounded as he fought off the attackers with an M16 rifle before soldiers and policemen arrived.
Election season violence is common in the Philippines. In 2009, 58 people, including 32 journalists, were massacred by alleged followers of a powerful southern provincial clan in the country’s worst political violence.
Last week, communist rebels ambushed the convoy of southern Gingoog City Mayor Ruth Guingona, wife of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, killing two of her aides and wounding her and a police escort.
The New People’s Army apologized for harming the mayor and her party but said her bodyguards fired at a rebel checkpoint, prompting them to return fire.