Despite P100K bounty, no leads yet in slay try on mayor's aide

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/20 Dec) – The P100,000 bounty offered by Surigao City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas for almost a month now has failed to entice possible eyewitnesses who could shed light on the recent attempt on the life of former city administrator Balgamelo Ma Sr.
Police has yet to establish the identities of the perpetrators, who are still at large two weeks after the incident.
Chief Insp. Charlie Cabradilla said they are still conducting follow-up operations to gather possible leads on the identity of the suspects and a possible mastermind.
The police official had earlier assured that they will leave no stones unturned in determining the motive of the suspects and unmasking the brains behind the plot to kill the former city hall official.
Ma was stabbed by an unidentified suspect near his house at Roxas Corner Gonzales Streets past 5 p.m. last November 22.
Ma, who was heading home when attacked, managed to cry for help by shouting: “Tabang! Tabang! Tag buno ako!” (Help! Help! I’m being attacked!)
Ma’s children – Jose and Pepito – responded to their father’s call for help, prompting the attacker to withdraw, leaving his bloodied victim.
Jose said the assailant was armed with a gun and even tried to shoot Pepito but luckily the gun did not go off. As the suspect was retreating, Pepito tried to push the attacker, who in turn stabbed him but missed.
The male suspect reportedly fled on a motorcycle. But Pepito said the suspect was accompanied by a man who acted as a look out.
With the help of a cousin, Jose said he and Pepito rushed their wounded father to the hospital, where the latter was declared safe. “He suffered two wounds, both non-fatal. He is safe and stable, and the doctor said no vital internal organs were affected,” Jose said.
He said their family was hoping for the speedy resolution of the case.
Jose noted that he had not heard about any threat on his father’s life.
Ma was an alter ego of the current city mayor. He acted as political strategist of the mayor before he was named city administrator.
Police said Ma’s political activities were among the factors they are looking into, including his past government jobs, in establishing the motive. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)