Cabinet official escapes ambush

MANILA, Philippines - Gunmen fired 18 shots at the convoy of Presidential Legislative Liaison Officer Secretary Manuel Mamba as it was driving along the main highway of Alcala in Cagayan at 3 pm Monday, May 13.

Former journalist Earl Parreño, a friend of the Mamba family, told Rappler that Mamba was in another car from the one being shot at and was not hurt.

Mamba, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, was riding a bullet-proof car owned by his brother William, who is running for governor under the Liberal Party against incumbent Cagayan Gov Alvaro Antonio of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).

Cagayan is one of the 15 hot spots in these elections. (Read: DILG names 15 provinces as poll hot spots)

In an interview with reporters, Mamba said he himself saw Antonio fire his AK-47 at his convoy. Mamba said the governor was with two other men during the ambush. We could not immediately get in touch with Antonio to get his side.

An estranged ally of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Manuel Mamba served as Cagayan congressman under the Arroyo regime. "He's fine, I just spoke to him," Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said. Mamba is now in Tuguegarao. - Rappler.com

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