ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (19 Dec. 2014) - After surviving an ambush attempt, Iligan Rep. Vicente Belmonte Jr. is now facing a libel case for allegedly linking a local chief executive to the attack.
Belmonte, a third-termer in the House of Representatives, said he arrived at Laguindingan Airport, Misamis Oriental in the afternoon of December 11 when his convoy was ambushed at Barangay Gassi. Three of his men were killed in the attack.
The lawmaker has blamed local politics for the ambush attempt, noting that it happened after he announced his intention to run for mayor of Iligan in 2016.
He also said some of the suspects are linked to Iligan Mayor Celso Regencia.
For his part, Regencia said the lawmaker has no right linking him to the ambush attempt and that his guilt is a matter left up to the courts.
He also challenged Belmonte to sue him in court if he believes he has enough evidence to prove his allegations.
Supporters of both camps said the two politicians should settle the matter in the courtroom.