‘Jueteng’ whistle-blower killed in Pasay road attack

‘Jueteng’ whistle-blower killed in Pasay road attack
By Miko L. Morelos, Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The whistle-blower who linked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s elder son to an illegal numbers game at a Senate inquiry was shot dead on Sunday morning by men on two motorcycles.

Wilfredo “Boy” Mayor was ambushed at about 4:30 a.m. while the heavily tinted Volvo he was riding in was on a full stop at a red light on MIA Road in Pasay City.

Mayor, 54, a former bank employee and confessed “jueteng” lord in Albay province, had just come from a meeting at a casino in Malate, Manila.

Doctors at San Juan de Dios Hospital on Roxas Boulevard declared him dead on arrival, police said.

Mayor suffered multiple bullet wounds in the body and head.

At the crime scene, police recovered 18 shells of an M-16 rifle and two shells of a .45 cal. handgun.

Mayor’s car, which probers kept as evidence, bore 22 bullet holes, half of which were on the windshield. At least six bullets pierced the windshield in front of the passenger side where Mayor had sat.

Mayor’s son-in-law, Alan Benedict Castro, and nephew, Rommel Mayor, survived the attack. Castro is being treated at the hospital for injuries.

Castro, whom police investigators interviewed in the emergency room, said he and the Mayors were on their way home to BF Homes in Parañaque City in a Volvo 850 from a casino in Malate.

On MIA and Domestic Airport Roads where the car waited for the traffic signal to change, at least four men on two motorcycles pulled up and opened fire at the car’s right side, Castro told investigators.

Mayor was severely wounded in the first volley of gunfire, while Castro, who was driving, managed to open the door on his side and sought cover on the road.

A bystander found Castro and brought him to the hospital for treatment of bullet wounds in the abdomen and right thigh.

Mayor’s nephew, who was seated in the back, took the car’s wheel and ran the traffic light, police said.

Upon reaching MIA and Chapel Roads, he stepped out of the car, hailed a cab and brought his uncle to the hospital.

Mayor’s body was brought to Rizal Funeral Home in Pasay City for autopsy. The Philippine Daily Inquirer tried to seek comment from relatives waiting for the victim’s body, but they begged off.

Ominous feeling

Just days before he was gunned down, Mayor had an ominous feeling that something was going to go wrong, according to his close friend Sandra Cam.

Cam, herself a witness in the exposé on jueteng, appeared to know of a possible suspect behind the death of Mayor, saying he was a “big person.” But that was all she wanted to say for now, since she herself is fearing for her safety.

“I don’t want to talk. We would be going up against a big person,” a weeping Cam said on the phone, when asked if she knew of any threat to Mayor.

Devastated

Cam, who said she was not in Metro Manila when the Inquirer reached her, sounded devastated at what befell Mayor, whom she considered her brother.

“Please help my brother” were her first words when asked about Mayor’s ambush.

She said she last talked with Mayor on Saturday night, and quoted him as telling her that he had a bad feeling. “‘I’m worried, sister, I’m really anxious,’” she recalled Mayor as saying.

“I scolded him. I told him, ‘Wherever you are, just stay there. Take care of yourself.’ He told me to take care of myself,” she added.

Cam said she was worried about her safety and had asked police officials in the province where she was to provide her with security.

Like Mayor, Cam is a member of the Whistle-blowers Association, an organization put up by witnesses to the scandals that had beset the Arroyo administration.

The association acts as a support group for its members, whose normal lives were disrupted after their exposés and most of whom are now battling financial and security problems.

Another whistle-blower, albeit in a different case, has also become concerned about his and his family’s well-being after Mayor was gunned down.

Dante Madriaga, who linked the First Family to the scandal-ridden National Broadband Network deal with a Chinese firm, said he would ask the Senate to bring back his security detail because of the risks that he and his young children could face.

Madriaga said he was worried because Mayor traveled with security escorts, while he and other whistle-blowers took public transportation.

The ProPinoy Project