Sultan Kudarat councilor, wife slain in GenSan drug ops
DAVAO CITY—A town councilor in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat province, and his wife were killed in a shootout with policemen during an antidrug operation in General Santos City last week. Police said Noren Apil, 54, and his wife, Juliet Bitayo, 46, fired at law enforcers who were serving a search warrant in their house at Barangay Fatima in General Santos on Saturday night, said Chief Supt. Eliseo Rasco, regional police director. Rasco said Apil was on President Duterte’s list of officials suspected to be involved in illegal drug trading. “Both of them (Apil and Bitayo) resisted, took their handguns and [fired at] approaching policemen,” Rasco said. —JEOFFREY MAITEM
Cotabato mayor seeks deeper probe of Comelec office fire
COTABATO CITY—Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi has asked the Bureau of Fire Protection for an extensive investigation of the fire that hit the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office here last week. “I want to make sure that there was no foul play,” Sayadi said of the blaze that gutted the two-story building housing the Comelec office at Barangay Rosary Heights 13 here on Friday night. The mayor said she was worried because the fire destroyed computers and records of voters ahead of next year’s midterm elections and the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Organic Law. “The people of Cotabato City were left with so many questions that I urged [the Comelec] to make necessary actions to assure everyone of a fair election [and] plebiscite,” Sayadi said in a statement. —EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ
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