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Newly-elected barangay chairman in Region 9 hurt in gun attack

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Gunmen seriously wounded in a gun attack on Saturday morning the chairman of the largest barangay in Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur who was to aspire for the presidency of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in the municipality during a local selection process slated on December 15.

Radio stations here reported on Saturday afternoon that Jerry Olaier, chairman of Barangay Poblacion in Guipos, is fighting for his life at the Mendero Hospital in Pagadian City after two men shot him repeatedly with pistols while walking along a thoroughfare in the municipality. 

One of his attackers was reportedly killed in a shootout with responding policemen, according to an initial report from the Guipos Municipal Police Station and the local government unit in the municipality. Another suspect was also arrested after a brief chase by policemen, local officials said.

Guipos is only about three hours via overland travel from this city, seat of the Bangsamoro region that has agencies monitoring on a round-the-clock basis the security situation in areas in the Zamboanga peninsula that have Moro communities.  

Initial reports by radio stations here, citing police reports, stated that Olaier died on the spot from, but clarified later, based on statements by local officials, that he was rushed to a hospital where physicians are trying to save his life.  

Relatives and supporters of Olaier said he had a plan to get nominated and elected as president of the BC in the municipality that has 17 barangays, with a population of 21,738 based on a 2020 census, 4,988 of them residing in the Barangay Poblacion, which was under his leadership.