Tribal leader, son slain in Maguindanao ambush
AMPATUAN, MAGUINDANAO – Unidentified gunmen killed a Teduray leader and his son in an ambush in a remote village here Wednesday night.
“Timuay” (chieftain) Orlando Santos and his son, Michael, both residents of Barangay Saniag here, died of multiple bullet wounds in various parts of their bodies.
The third victim, Kimboy Fernalino, suffered injuries and is now confined at the provincial hospital in Shariff Aguak town.
Mayor Rasul Sangki of Ampatuan, quoting police reports, said the victims were onboard a motorbike on the way to Barangay Saniag from the town proper when unidentified men opened fire at them about 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The suspects fled on board separate motorbikes.
Police said lawless elements, including the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, have subjected several Teduray community leaders and members to harassment. They attacked IPs who refused to give them food in the mountains of Maguindanao.
“Timuay Santos is our voice in Barangay Saniag,” said Teduray Lalison Bulogon of Barangay Saniag in the vernacular.
“We’re not aware he has enemies. He was a very good person who always looks after our welfare. We cry for justice,” he said.
Fatima Kanakan, head of the Indigenous Peoples Council in Maguindanao and former deputy governor for IP affairs of the defunct ARMM, said Timuay Santos was an active community leader, especially during displacements of IPs under conflict situations.
“We hope that local police give their attention to this incident. (They should) conduct an investigation as to the identities of the culprits and the motives of the killings,” Kanakan said.
She said she was hoping that the killings would not add to the numerous unresolved killings of IP Leaders in Maguindanao. (Editor: Leti Boniol)
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