MANILA (3rd UPDATE) – The executive assistant of former Makati City mayor Junjun Binay was shot and wounded by unidentified assailants in Barangay Olympia, Makati City Thursday night, police said.
Monaliza “Monette” Bernardo, 44, was shot after she arrived home from a campaign meeting past 8 p.m. She sustained a gunshot wound in her right hand and the bullet went through her abdomen.
The assailants, both wearing helmets, fled on a motorcycle towards South Ave. They were seen observing the area before the incident, witnesses told police. Recovered from the crime scene was an empty shell of .45 pistol.
Bernardo was rushed to the Makati Medical Center where she underwent surgery to remove the bullet.
Junjun Binay, in a statement released early Friday, believes the attack on his longtime executive assistant could be politically motivated.
“Mabait po siya na tao, walang po siyang kaaway, kaya nalulungkot po ako na baka nadamay siya sa laban ko sa pulitika. Sana naman ay hindi,” he said.
(She is a good person. She has no enemies. I am sadden she could have been caught in the crossfire in my bid for office. I hope not.)
Junjun is running against his sister Abigail in the 2019 elections for Makati mayoralty, considered as the family’s bailiwick, which they had held since 1986.
“Kung sino man ang may kagagawan ng krimen na ito, hindi kami titigil hanggang di kayo mapanagot sa inyong kasalanan,” he added.
(Whoever is behind this, I will not stop until you are held responsible.)
Speaking to reporters outside Makati Medical Center, Makati City 1st District Rep. Manuel Monsour Del Rosario said Bernardo is now out of harm’s way.
“She was lucky na tinamaan ang wrist niya and [the bullet] ricocheted and hit her stomach. Sabi ng doctors, she will be okay. Stable na siya,” he said. – With reports from Dexter Ganibe and Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News