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Andaya’s ambush not election related

By Paulo DS. Papa

LAWYER Maico Julia Jr., spokesperson of Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Camarines Sur, has recently clarified that the alleged assassination attempt on ex-congressman Rolando Andaya Jr. is not considered election related.

To recall, in the morning of June 1 this year, an unidentified gunman riding his motorcycle shot the black Toyota Land Cruiser driven by Andaya along the Maharlika Highway in Pili, Camarines Sur. Andaya’s vehicle suffered two bullet holes, one below the side mirror on the passenger side and another one at the back door.

Julia’s statement was in response to numerous reactions of netizens to the incident claiming that the shooting was “politically motivated”, while others were skeptical of the incident calling it as “ambush me” or orchestrated by Andaya himself.

In an interview, Julia, also the Comelec chief of Naga City, told Bicol Mail that the incident is not considered as election related violence, because the election period or campaign period has not yet started when the shooting incident happened.

He said the incident is not a concern of the Comelec. He said Andaya may file a case against the gunman once the latter is identified and arrested by the police.

For example, a candidate who is about to file his certificate of candidacy is ambushed, that is classified as election related violence, he said.

Julia elaborated that a candidate once ambushed right after filing his candidacy and while waiting for the campaign period to begin, is also considered as election related incident.

The filing of certificates of candidacy for national and local positions will be on Oct. 1-8, 2021.

As of press time, the primary suspect in the shooting remains unidentified although the Camarines Sur Police Provincial Office and Pili Municipal Police Station, based on investigation, already identified the motorcycle used by the gunman as a black KTM 200cc motorcycle bearing a file temporary number.

The suspect was reportedly wearing a black helmet and drove towards Naga City after the shooting.

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