An outgoing congressman married to a Brazilian actress and model, survived a suicide attempt at his office, at the House of Representatives, in suburban Quezon City, reports said.
Congressman Benjo Ronaldo, representative of Cagayan de Oro in the southern Philippines, survived a self-inflicted bullet wound that entered the lower portion of his heart and exited from the lower part of his lungs, doctors at St. Luke’s Medical Centre in Quezon City said.
Ronaldo is now in a stable condition after blood was drained out from his lungs, allowing him to breath better. “But he has to stay longer in the hospital to recover fully,” a doctor who opted for anonymity told newsmen.
“He was conscious and he gave a thumbs-up sign,” House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte said earlier, at the emergency room of the New Era hospital, also in Quezon City, where he was initially rushed after staff members in his office found him full of blood with a gun on top of his desk at around 8pm on Thursday.
Rumours had been rampant about his rocky marriage with Diana Menezes, who was photographed sitting distraught beside him while he was still at Era’s emergency room.
On Friday, police cordoned off his room at the fifth floor of the South Wing of the Batasan Complex, for investigation. Investigators were allowed to probe the incident, said the House Speaker.
The Congressman was reportedly packing his things when a gun shot was heard from his room.
His staff members who heard it from the lobby of his office gave testimonies to the police.
His driver and other people who were outside his room when the incident occurred were also asked to give statements to authorities.
They were the ones who asked for assistance when they found him bloodied but still conscious while inside his room.
“He’s [been] going through a lot lately,” said Deputy Majority Leader Miro Quimbo, apparently referring to his lost bid for re-election against Klarex Uy of the ruling Liberal Party in the recently concluded May elections.
Lately, he also attracted attention when his wife posted in her social media accounts that she was against battering of women.
She even posted photos of bruised body parts, but did not say if she was a victim of domestic violence.
Several women’s groups publicly offered her assistance in case she needed one. But she never publicly responded to them, a sign that she was not resolute to formally file a complaint.
There were also reports that she was planning to divorce him after only getting married in Las Vegas last December.
The two have never publicly spoken about the state of their relationship.