Raps filed vs cop, 11 others over attack on Cotabato village bets
COTABATO CITY — Multiple murder and double frustrated murder complaints have been filed against a police officer, a candidate for village chief, and 10 others for Monday night’s killing of three people posting campaign materials for the October 30 elections.
Cotabato City Police Station 1 Chief Capt. Jemu Ramolete said people named on the complaint sheet were Juhalidin Ladesla Abdul, alias “Boyong,” candidate for chairperson of Barangay Rosary Heights 12; Police M/Sgt. Pauti Dianal Mamalapat of Maguindanao del Sur police and their 10 relatives, many from Guindulungan, Maguindanao del Sur, for involvement in the attack that killed Nur Muktadin Butucan, Alffar Ayunan Pasawilan, and Faizal Abas.
The complaints against them were filed before the city prosecutor’s office here on Wednesday, October 25.
Butucan and Pasawilan were candidates for village council seats, the former in Rosary Heights 12 while the latter in Kalanganan 2. Abas was a supporter of Pasawilan.
Saipol Sapalon and Fayed Daud, both from Kalanganan 2, were injured during the incident.
All victims displayed campaign posters when they were shot at around 9:30 p.m. on Monday.
In a hot pursuit operation, the police, backed by Marines soldiers, held for questioning Abdul, Mamalapat, and 10 others, and were later established to be suspects in the crime after authorities seized an M-16 rifle, two handguns, and ammunition from them.
Others who were arrested were Jayson Manguda Bansuan, Surin Alon Kamad, Daniel Gumat Paguital, Nordin Gueamel Alay, Mishal Malang Mamalapat, Abedin Saban Guinat, Buts Saban Tepay, Dixie Mahinay Garcia, Arman Mamalangkal, and Ronda Midtimbang Bansuan.
Cotabato City Police Director Col. Querubin Manalang Rosary Heights 12 is now considered a hotspot because of the incident, which was the 12th election-related violence recorded by the police in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
BARMM Police Director Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza said they would ensure that voters in the village could cast their votes freely.
Of the BARMM’s 2,592 villages, 976 are listed as areas of concern, with 284 categorized as having “grave” security issues.
A teacher tasked to perform election duties for the October 30 voting in Barangay Rosary Heights 12 said he may back out because of the violence, and many of his colleagues have the same plan. The teacher requested anonymity for security reasons.
Cotabato City Mayor Bruce Matabalao said the local government is deeply saddened by the election-related tension that escalated to a violent firefight in Rosary Heights 12.
“The loss of three lives in this incident is not only tragic but also a direct affront to the peaceful democratic process we hold dear in our city,” Matabalao added.