Poll bet, 3 others killed in Basilan
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Unidentified gunmen killed a former village chief running for election in the May 14 polls and three members of his family in Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan on Sunday.
Brigadier General Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, said the incident took place in Barangay Camamburingan at around 5:20 a.m. on Sunday.
He identified the victims as 45-year old Usan Asani, the former village chief of Camamburingan; Andatun Asani, 47; Jannalun Matindo, 60; and Nadzmi Matindo, 19.
The other victims and Asani were relatives.
He said witnesses told authorities the assailants targeted only Usan’s residence. Usan had filed his certificates of candidacy for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
“This attack is currently under investigation. So far, we have no indicators linking this to a terror attack,” he added.
A few hours after the incident, Hernie Asao, the incumbent Camamburingan village chief, reportedly showed up at the headquarters of the Army’s 8th Infantry Battallion in Ungkaya Pukan carrying an M16 rifle.
He was immediately arrested for violation of the gun ban and is currently being investigated for a possible role in the attack on Usan and his family.
“We commend the cooperation of the locals and the swift action of our security forces. While we cannot commit to a zero election-related incident, our troops together with different organizations will continue to work overtime to ensure that such imminent incidents will remain isolated and resolved,” Uy said.
In Tagum City, authorities said they were looking into personal grudge as the possible motive in Saturday’s killing of Danilo Daanton, president of the Association of Barangay Captains, in Monkayo town, Compostela Valley.
Compostela Valley police chief Senior Supt. Marvin Pepino said the investigation on the killing of Daanton, who is also the current village chief in Barangay Banlag and running unopposed in the coming polls, continues.
Daanton, 44, was gunned down by an undetermined number of assailants after playing basketball in Barangay Poblacion past 5 p.m., according to Compostela Valley Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy.
“I condemn the brutal killing of one of the most respected barangay captains in our province,” he said. /ee
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