CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga –The chief aviation engineer of Clark International Airport was killed yesterday morning in an ambush in Sta. Ignacia town, Tarlac. The engineer’s wife was also injured in the attack.
Ruel Angeles, 55, and his wife, Rosenia, 56, were ambushed at around 7 a.m. in Barangay Padapada. The husband and wife, along with their grandson, were on board their Toyota Innova; en route to the child’s school.
The vehicle was waylaid by one of two men who were pretending to dry newly harvested rice by the side road. The man approached the driver’s side, and shot Angeles, pointblank.
“They were about 150 meters from their home when one of two men approached their vehicle and shot Ruel, who was driving,” Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) vice president for operations Reynaldo Catacutan said.
Catacutan added that despite having been shot, Angeles managed to drive off, .He was, however, pursued by the assailant, who fired more shots; injuring Rosenia, in the process.
Angeles died at the scene from five gunshot wounds and Rosenia was taken to a hospital for treatment, while their grandson was unharmed, Catacutan said.
The killing has fueled rumours that the murder was job-related, due to ongoing issues surrounding the bidding of a P250-million Instrument Landing System (ILS) to be procured for the airport.
Angeles was in charge of maintaining the existing ILS, which has been in place for the last 18 years.
The bidding for the acquisition of a new ILS, slated for November 14, was set some time ago by the CIAC board, according to CIAC president and chief executive officer Emigdio Tanjuatco.
Tanjuatco declined to comment on whether the murder may have been work-related, but said that the bidding date had been set some time ago.
“I’ve been with the CIAC for only a month. On the day the board elected me as president, the bidding for a new ILS was already set,” Tanjuatco said.
On the other hand, Catacutan expressed his views that the killing was not work-related.
He added, however, that bidding for the new ILS had already taken place in November 2013; with the procurement having been awarded to Evercon corporation.
The initial bidding and awarding, however, was met with protest from other bidders, who demanded that the project be reclassified and bid out again.