Ampatuan who helped convict relative in massacre case survives ambush
SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao, Philippines — Two bodyguards of a Maguindanao vicer mayor died on Thursday (Dec. 26) after fighting for their lives following an ambush on the vice mayor, a member of the Ampatuan clan who had helped convict those involved in the killing of 57 people in the now infamous Maguindanao massacre case.
Hadji Akmad Lumenda Ampatuan and Elham Khalid, driver and security aides of Shariff Aguak Vice Mayor Akmad Mitra Ampatuan, died due to multiple gunshot wounds, according to Maj. Erwin Tabora, Shariff Aguak police chief.
They had fought for their lives after an ambush on Vice Mayor Ampatuan here last Dec. 24, Christmas Eve.
Tabora said Vice Mayor Ampatuan is now in stable condition.
Tabora said the vice mayor and his companions were heading home at 1 p.m. on Dec. 24 from the town hall when gunmen riding a small van opened fire on them on the national highway at the village of Poblacion.
The vice mayor was on the steering wheel which could have saved his life, according to Tabora.
The assailants could have been deceived into believing that the vice mayor, their target, was at the passenger seat or behind the driver which showed in the trajectory of the shots. Most bullet holes were found in the passenger side and back of the vehicle that the vice mayor had driven.
Khalid died hours later at the Maguindanao provincial hospital and was immediately buried while Hadji Akmad died on Christmas Day.
“We have persons of interest on this case,” said Tabora, without elaborating. “We are digging deeper,” he added.
Vice Mayor Ampatuan, who survived an earlier ambush in 2014, cooperated with authorities in prosecuting his relatives who were implicated in the Maguindanao massacre case.
“He was ambushed twice and he survived twice,” Tabora said.
Vice Mayor Ampatuan is the father of Shariff Aguak Mayor Marop Ampatuan.
Edited by TSB
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