Bayawan City Councilor Victoriano Alabastro survived an assassination attempt last December 31 when the assassin’s gun jammed twice, reports reaching Dumaguete City said.
Two motorcycle-riding hitmen approached Alabastro, the interim vice-president of the Philippine Councilor’s League for the Visayas, as he was having his car washed along Peping Gamo St. in Bayawan City at 2 p.m. of New Year’s eve. A report said the backrider pulled out a pistol and pointed it at the councilor’s face and squeezed the trigger, but the gun jammed. The gunman cocked his gun again but the gun was still jammed, said eyewitnesses, enabling Alabastro to slap the gunman’s wrist, yanking the gun out from the latter’s hand.
Alabastro called for backup and police tried to pursue the assassins who had abandoned their motorcycle and fled on foot. Police recovered the motorcycle and identified the owner through its expired registration papers but they declined to reveal the owner’s identity pending results of follow-up operations.
Alabastro said the attempt against his life in broad daylight is an insult to the police force in the city who are supposed to protect its citizens. “These people do not respect our policemen because they believe that they can easily escape after committing a crime,” he told Bayawan City employees during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony.
He also said he believes that he was just lucky and that God did not allow him to die. “If the gun went off, I may not be here in front of you today,” he added. Alabastro, however, declined to comment on the identities of the possible assassins or brains behind the slay attempt. He, however, said that the attempt on his life must be job-related and it could easily be seen that the act was premeditated.
“Obviously these people are not from Bayawan City because they wanted to harm us,” he said.
Alabastro called on the people to report whatever information they have regarding bad people roaming in the city so that they can be apprehended.
In the same flag-raising program, Bayawan City Mayor Rene Gaudiel also condemned the slay attempt against Alabastro as a cowardly act and an insult to his leadership. “The act is counterproductive and would put Bayawan City in a bad light. Bayawan has been known as a progressive City but this incident is not good for us,” he said.
According to Gaudiel people have no right to play judge or God and take away lives of people who they have a grudge against. He called on the police to create a task force to investigate the attempted murder of Councilor Alabastro.
Alabastro was the City Legal Officer of Bayawan City during the incumbency of former Mayor German P. Saraña. He ran for City Councilor in 2004 and was reelected as number one councilor in 2010.