Former provincial official gunned down in Calapan City

A former provincial official in Oriental Mindoro was shot dead by two unidentified men in front of a Protestant church in Calapan City Sunday morning.

Samson Rivera sustained three gunshot wounds when the gunmen fired at him at close range as soon as he alighted from his car at 9:15 a.m. to attend a church service at Calapan United Evangelical Church of the Philippines in San Vicente Central, police said.

Rivera was with his family when the attack occurred, his wife Doris Melgar told The Mindoro Post.

His son rushed him to the Holy Cross Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival, Melgar said.

Rivera served as provincial administrator from 2001 to 2004 under the administration of former governor Bart Marasigan.

He was among the campaign strategists of Representative Alfonso Umali Jr., who won in the gubernatorial race in Oriental Mindoro last May 10.

Rivera also actively campaigned against the Mindoro Nickel Project of Norway-based Intex Resources.

He was allegedly a former top-ranking communist official on Mindoro island who bolted the insurgency movement in the 1990s and joined civil society groups and the government.

A multi-agency task force composed of, among others, members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the National Bureau of Investigation was formed to investigate the murder.

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