Maguindanao town mayor shot dead in Manila
MANILA, Philippines – A Maguindanao town mayor included in the “narcolist” bared last year by President Rodrigo Duterte was shot dead by a lone assailant in Malate, Manila Monday night, police said on Tuesday.
Abdul Wahab Sabal, 45, mayor of the municipality of Sultan Sumagka, formerly known as Talitay, was gunned down at around 10 p.m., the Manila Police District (MPD) reported.
Sabal, his wife Mohanna and their police escort had just alighted from their vehicle and were about to check-in at a hotel along Quirino Avenue corner Leveriza St. when the attack took place, police said.
As they were unloading their belongings from the vehicle, three consecutive gunshots were heard.
The mayor was later seen bloodied and motionless on the pavement.
Police said the victim died on the spot.
The mayor’s wife and police escort were unharmed.
The hotel’s closed-circuit television camera footage showed that the gunman positioned himself across the street prior to the crime.
Police recovered from the crime scene a 5.56 mm spent shell which will be subjected to a ballistic examination.
In September 2016, Sabal, who was then the town vice mayor, was arrested by the then Anti-Illegal Drugs Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as he stepped out of the Awang Airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat town.
Sabal and his elder brother, former Talitay Mayor Montasir Sabal, initially surrendered to the local police for fear of their lives after they were tagged by Duterte as narco-politicians, or politicians involved in the illegal drug trade, in August that year.
They also later appeared before then PNP chief and now Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa at Camp Crame.
The younger Sabal was also among the 46 politicians included in the updated “narcolist” exposed by Duterte in March 2019.
On top of this, the Sabal brothers were linked to the Davao City night market blast on September 2, 2016 that killed 14 people and wounded at least 70 others.
Both denied this allegation.
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