Maitum mayor ambushed, later died of cardiac arrest, police say

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/1 March)– Mayor George McPerson Perret of Maitum, Sarangani died before dawn Saturday from cardiac arrest following an ambush by still unidentified gunmen, the police said.

Sr. Insp. Arnold Montesa, Maitum police chief, said that Perret sustained a gunshot wound in the leg after the suspects fired on their vehicle at past 10 p.m. Friday in Barangay Malalag in Maitum town.

Perret, who was with his wife Elsie, a former mayor also of Maitum, was brought to a local hospital for initial treatment and was then transferred to another hospital in General Santos City, about two hours away by land travel.

The gunshot wound was not fatal but his blood pressure later shot up that caused his death, Montesa told the Manila-based DZMM radio station.

Doctors declared him dead at around 2:50 a.m. Saturday, the police official added.

Perret and his companions attended an arts and culture event in the town proper and were on their way home when the suspects ambushed them, a source in the town who declined to be named said.

An aide of Perret was wounded in the incident but is now out of danger, reports said.

Montesa said they are still investigating the motive for the attack on Perret.

Maitum has a history of political killings.

In 2006, Mayor George Yabes was killed in the town’s public market. The vice mayor who replaced him, Felix Reganit, was slain the following year in Metro Manila.

In 2010, unidentified suspects also gunned down municipal councilor Edwin Ramos just outside his residence. (MindaNews)