1 dead, 4 wounded in Cotabato City ambush

1 dead, 4 wounded in Cotabato City ambush

Cotabato City village chief survives ambush; 5 pals hurt

Police Scene of the Crime Operatives conduct a post-crime investigation along Mabini Street, Cotabato City after the Toyota van of Edris Ayunan Pasawiran was ambushed by still unidentified gunmen on Friday night, June 7, 2024. —photo from DXMS Radio

COTABATO CITY, BARMM, Philippines — An ambush on Friday night targeting a village official here killed a man and wounded four others, police said on Monday.

Police Maj. John Vincent Bravo, station commander of Cotabato City’s police station 1, said Michael Avila, who had bullet wounds in the head, was declared dead at 4 a.m. on Saturday while undergoing treatment at Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.


Bravo said four of Avila’s companions were treated in the hospital, with only one still confined for further treatment.


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The five were aboard the Toyota Hiace van along with the vehicle’s owner, Edris Ayunan Pasawiran, the village chair of Barangay Kalanganan 2 of this city, who was believed to be the target of the ambush that occurred along Mabini Street, Barangay Bagua 3, here around 8 p.m. on Friday.

Pasawiran, 42, was unhurt amid a hail of bullets rained by his attackers onto his Toyota van.

His family believed he was the target of the gun attack and that the incident was politically motivated and could be related to the midterm elections next year.

Pasawiran’s brother Bimbo Ayunan, also a village chief of nearby Barangay Kalanganan Mother, said in an interview that it was not the first attempt on his brother’s life but declined to elaborate.

On Oct. 23 last year, only a week before the barangay elections, Alfar Ayunan Pasawiran, the eldest son of Edris, was killed along with two other supporters while hanging campaign posters in Barangay Rosary Heights 12 here. Alfar was then running for councilman of Barangay Kalanganan 2. Alfar’s mother, Melissa Singh, won as village chair of Rosary Heights 12.


Police were still investigating an abandoned vehicle found on Monday in Rosary Heights 3, about 3 kilometers from the ambush site, suspecting it was the attackers’ getaway vehicle.

The Suzuki minivan the police recovered had bullet punctures and was found to have a .45-caliber pistol with bloodstains inside.

“We are coordinating with the Land Transportation Office to check on the vehicle’s chassis number,” Bravo said.

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Investigators were still trying to retrieve footage from CCTV installed near the crime scene.

TAGS: 2025 midterm polls, ambush, ambush try, Cotabato City

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