Maitum children, adults cry justice for Mayor Yabes

The hearse, followed by more than 100 vehicles, passed though the town’s main streets lined with children waving those messages for justice.

The Sarangani Information Office reported that “adults joined kids at every corner as they waited for hours with flowers at the roadside leading to the mayor’s final resting place in barangay Salakit, Kiamba where he grew up.”

Yabes, 64, was shot by three motorcycle-riding gunmen at broad daylight Saturday in downtown Maitum “while he was inspecting government projects,” the Sarangani Information Office reported. Earlier reports, however, said, he drove his Willys jeep to show his relatives from Hawaii how the town has progressed.

Yabes was succeeded by Felix Reganit, the vice mayor who was earlier implicated in an assassination attempt on the mayor but who repeatedly denied involvement.

Sarangani Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez has offered half a million pesos as reward for  anyone who could provide information that would  lead to the arrest and conviction of the killers and masterminds behind the mayor’s assassination.  

Yabes, who was completing his third term in office, turned Maitum from one of the poorest and depressed municipalities of Sarangani into an award-winning town.

The Sarangani Information Office noted that the “massive outpouring of sympathy for Mayor Yabes was felt in every barangay where public events and videokes, which are common pastime, have not been held since Saturday.” (MindaNews)