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Philippine mayor among 4 killed at Manila airport

By Oliver Teves

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:31 a.m. HST, Dec 21, 2013

MANILA » A gunman attacked a Philippine mayor as he left the country's main airport Friday along with crowds of Christmas travelers, killing him, his wife, a child and another man, authorities and witnesses said.

The gunman fired on Labangan Mayor Ukol Talumpa outside Terminal 3 at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport, named after President Benigno Aquino III's father, who was assassinated there 30 years ago. The terminal handles international and domestic flights, and is supposed to be a relatively well-guarded facility. Talumpa had arrived from Zamboanga del Sur, the southern province where Labangan is located.

There was no word on a possible motive, but violent attacks linked to political rivalries, family feuds and business disputes are common in the Philippines, and have left hundreds of people dead over the years. Talumpa himself had survived at least two earlier assassination attempts, according to local media reports.

The mayor and his wife were declared dead on arrival at a nearby hospital along with a 1 1/2-year-old boy and a 25-year-old man, said the airport's general manager, Jose Angel Honrado.

Local radio reports said that the man was a nephew of the mayor, but that the boy was a bystander with no relation to Talumpa.

At least five other people were wounded, including a niece of the mayor and a 3-year-old girl who sustained a head wound, hospital authorities said.

An uncle of the dead boy, Felipe Lirasan, told DZMM radio that the child's family was staying at his home for Christmas. "Then this happened," he said, his voice breaking. "There is nothing that we can do."

Honrado said that investigators were trying to determine how many attackers were involved. Witnesses, however, saw only one gunman, who sped away on a waiting motorcycle that was driven by another man, Honrado said.

An airport car rental dispatcher said one of the two men on the motorcycle was wearing a cap and what appeared to be a police uniform.

"When shots rang out, the passengers all rushed inside the terminal," said the dispatcher, who spoke to a local radio station but didn't give his name.

He said the man wearing the police uniform almost fell off the motorcycle as they sped away. They were chased by airport authorities in cars, but the pair wove their way through the stalled vehicles and escaped, he said.

Local newspapers have reported that Talumpa, then a vice mayor of Labangan, and one of his nephews were wounded in another attack in 2010 in Manila. Last year, assailants lobbed a grenade at Talumpa and his wife in Pagadian City, the capital of Zamboanga del Sur, but they escaped unhurt. Talumpa was elected mayor earlier this year.

Islamic extremists are active in Zamboanga del Sur, but there was no immediate indication that this attack was related to the insurgency.

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Jerry_D wrote:
Philippines. Beautiful country. Deadly politics.
on December 20,2013 | 01:10PM
Grimbold wrote:
Soon it will be declared another "Failed State". Why? Not because of us but because of their own people.
on December 21,2013 | 04:09AM
TigerEye wrote:
....And the veritable skipping record of xenophobic (look it up) nonsense continues. If you found yourself living in a place in which everyone belonged to your race, you would doubtless fire your daily rants based on hair or eye color. By the way, don't use the word "us." Really. It's insulting.
on December 21,2013 | 07:28AM
DAGR81 wrote:
Give it up.
on December 21,2013 | 10:17AM
Grimbold wrote:
There is no Filipino race, there are lots of different bloodlines from spanish to malayan to chinese to.. . So what are you sulking about?
on December 21,2013 | 11:04AM
Grimbold wrote:
It is not US who creates their state and living conditions.
on December 21,2013 | 11:07AM
cojef wrote:
No aloha there even for locals.
on December 20,2013 | 01:15PM
nitpikker wrote:
too much civil unrest.
on December 20,2013 | 02:33PM
islandsun wrote:
Crime/corruption haven. Then they become immigrants here.
on December 20,2013 | 02:43PM
Grimbold wrote:
Unfortunately they come here in drones and their failed culture with them.
on December 21,2013 | 04:10AM
TigerEye wrote:
In drones? That must be a pretty sophisticated system, having their transports remote-piloted and all... Or, were suggesting that they hitch rides inside male bees?
on December 21,2013 | 08:03AM
Grimbold wrote:
on December 21,2013 | 11:05AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Grimbold, I have come across many of your racist and/or hate-mongering posts and this one takes the cake. Your insulting comments towards many Filipino immigrants, many of whom have become great citizens such as the late Dr. Jorge Camara, are really outrageous and classless. Your baseless comments are not appreciated by many who are of that race and heritage and even those of other races including myself. Your comments show lack of a sense of world view and education. Many of our Filipino readers have more education and, obviously more class, than you. Many Filipinos here have lead successful lives and I would wager are much more successful than you. Most of all, they have grown to be positive human beings contributing to our society such as our former governor Ben Cayetano. I do hope that you grow psychologically and spiritually so that you may appreciate the contributions of those not of your race.
on December 21,2013 | 12:07PM
serious wrote:
This is nothing new. Look at the past. They need a strong, non corrupt leader. Right now they are a big Detroit/Chicago!!
on December 20,2013 | 03:13PM
hawaiiwalter wrote:
Friends went to retire there. They love it since they have a driver for their car, a housekeeper and cook. They also built a house for next to nothing. They say it's very cheap to live there. It's a shame they have so much crime.
on December 20,2013 | 03:52PM
Grimbold wrote:
Don't call it "so much crime" , call it by its real name :"so many criminals!"
on December 21,2013 | 04:12AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
You know, there is a place for you in this world. Just put on a white hood and you would fit right in perfectly.
on December 21,2013 | 12:16PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Everyday brings a new story of islamic extremists killing people somewhere around the world, usually using religion to justify their actions.
on December 20,2013 | 08:37PM
hikine wrote:
Money is power and someone paid to have them killed. Vendettas run rampant in the Philippines with rich people/politicians controlling the country and will do anything to keep them in power. Judges are bribed and turn their heads the other way when the perps are caught. Life goes on.
on December 21,2013 | 03:51PM
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