Lopez Jaena mayor shot during PDP-Laban Christmas party dies

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LOPEZ Jaena town Mayor Michael Gutierrez, who was running for vice governor of Misamis Occidental, died on Monday, December 27.

This was confirmed by Misamis Occidental PCL Federated President Councilor Eduardo Cebedo.

Gutierrez’s daughter Andrea “Pinky” Gutierrez also confirmed the passing of her father on her Facebook page.

“With great sorrow, we announce the loss of our beloved husband, father and a leader, late Michael Gutierrez,” the Facebook post stated.

“He was a light in this world, and now we need to continue shining his light by carrying it within us in our own lives. Thank you for your messages, prayers, and support during this difficult time for Papa Michael and for our family,” it added.

Misamis Occidental 2nd District Representative and gubernatorial aspirant Henry Oaminal, for his part, offered a P5-million bounty for any individuals who can provide information that would lead to the eventual capture and incarceration of the perpetrators.

“We encourage those with information to visit your nearest police station. Rest assured, your identities will be protected,” Oaminal stated on a post on his Facebook page.

On December 22, PDP-Laban and Asenso Ozamiz Local Party members were having a Christmas fellowship party in Tangub City when a “sniper fire” was heard around 8:45 p.m.

The town mayor suffered a gunshot wound, with the bullet damaging the left and right parts of his brain.

Oaminal and former Oroquieta City mayor Jason Almonte, who is running as 1st district representative of the province, were also injured. Both of them were present in the said Christmas gathering.

Meanwhile, incumbent 1st District Congressman Diego Ty “categorically” denied that their camp is involved in the shooting incident.

“These baseless, unfounded accusations show this partiality despite the case still undergoing investigation by the law enforcement agencies handling the case,” Ty said during a press conference in Tangub City on Monday.

“I categorically deny the accusation of deputy speaker Oaminal and condemn the attack, and that the perpetrators must be subjected to the full force of the law. And that justice must be served to the offended parties, particularly to the family of my brother Mayor Michael Gutierrez,” he added.

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