Gunmen ambush town mayor's aide, councilors in Maguindanao

June 16, 2009 10:53 am 

COTABATO CITY, June 16 – Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Maguindanao mayor's executive aide in an ambush that also wounded two town councilors, the Police and Army authorities today said.

But Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Ponce, regional Army spokesperson, believed the ambushers were renegade members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front operating in the town of South Upi in Maguindanao.

"The rogue rebels were extorting money from the town officials who refused, thus the ambush," Ponce told reporters.

Police Superintedent Danilo Bacas, spokesman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police, identified the slain mayor's aide as Ismael Alam, assistant of Mayor Abdulla "Beds" Campong of South Upi, Maguindanao.

Bacas identified the wounded town councilors as Jordan Ibrahim and Kadil Kusain. They are now recuperating at a local hospital here.

The councilor's armed escorts traded bullets with the ambushers who fled after learning Army troopers were coming to reinforce the victims.

Ponce, citing reports from the 6th Infantry Battalion, said the victims were heading toward Cotabato City when at about 6 a.m. gunmen who positioned on both sides of the highway opened fire with rocket propelled grenades, the signature firearm of the MILF.

Relatives of the wounded councilors said they were convinced the ambush was politically-motivated.

Chief Supt. Bensali Jabarani, ARMM police regional director, has ordered an extensive investigation on the incident to determine the real culprits and prosecute them to the fullest extent of law. (PNA)

DCT/NYP/EOF/jmd

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