ADAMS, Ilocos Norte, July 6—Former municipal mayor-turned vice mayor-elect Eric Bawingan of this upland town narrowly escaped death after he survived a bloody attack staged by a lone masked gunman who barged in his house at the town proper here yesterday night, July 5, 2016.Bawingan

Senior Inspector Samson Amistad, police chief, reported that Vice Mayor Bawingan is now out of danger after he was operated on for gunshot wounds in the body. Attending physicians at the Mariano Marcos memorial hospital in Batac City confirmed the successful operation on the wounded vice mayor at press time.

Based on initial investigation, Amistad said the vice mayor, together with his daughter and kids from the neighbors, was watching a television show in their house’s back portion at about 9 p.m. when a masked man, armed with a pistol, sprung from the darkness and shot the vice mayor at about 2 to 3 meters away. The kids were unhurt.

The vice mayor’s house compound has no perimeter fence, hence the gunman easily intruded into the place, Amistad added.

Although the vice mayor was bloodied, he managed to grab his licensed M16 baby armalite rifle and sprayed bullets into the fleeing gunman who died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds.

When responding policemen and rescuers arrived at the crime scene and unmasked the slain suspect, everybody was surprised to find out that the hooded gunman was a familiar face to them who was later identified as Jun Valencia, a native of Adams.

S/I Amistad said Valencia had a standing arrest warrant after he was charged with murder for the death of the late Adams municipal treasurer Elpidio Sy in October 2010. To elude arrest, he went into hiding in the Cordilleras and Cagayan province, the police chief added.

Being a fugitive, Valencia was ranked as No. 10 in the list of Most Wanted Persons in Ilocos Norte and there was a cash reward put on his head for his capture, Amistad said.

Amistad also recalled that Bawingan, when still the mayor, received a death threat last year via cellular phone text. The texter demanded money but the then mayor ignored it.(tsg w/ reports from rj, ma, nrt, tc, kl)