Cotabato City mayor’s aide slain in Maguindanao del Norte gun attack
COTABATO CITY — A lone gunman shot dead on Thursday night a staff member of Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Bruce Matabalao as he was walking home in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao del Norte.
Major Regie Albellera, Datu Odin Sinsuat town police chief, identified the victim as Faizal Malagiok, 40, more known as “Popeye,” an office staffer of Matabalao, and a resident of SPDA subdivision, Barangay Semba, Datu Odin Sinsuat.
“He died on the spot from about five gunshot wounds in the head and body,” said Albellera of the shooting that took place at 7 p.m.
“We are still facing a blank wall as to the motive and identity of the lone attacker,” he added.
Albellera said Malagiok, a singing artist, was walking along a poorly lit alley leading to his boarding house when a lone gunman opened fire.
Quoting witnesses, Albellera said the gunman fled on board a motorbike.
Matabalao was saddened by the news and called for a speedy probe into Malagiok’s death.
“Justice for Popeye,” Matabalao said in a social media post, describing Malagiok as “a reliable staff at the office of the city mayor and a good friend.”
“Thank you, Popeye, for your service to all, but most of all, thank you for the friendship,” he added.
Before joining the city government, Malagiok was known for hosting Muslim wedding rites as a singer and performer during other social events. He used to be a disc jockey for DXOL-FM in Cotabato City.