CAMP SK PENDATUN, Maguindanao — Police authorities in Lanao del Sur and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PNP-ARMM) have sent investigators to help the Cagayan de Oro City police investigate the ambush of Marawi City Mayor Fahad Panarigan Salic and his driver during the early hours of Saturday.
Senior Insp. Ronald de Leon, spokesperson of PNP-ARMM based in Camp SK Pendatun, Parang town in Maguindanao, said police regional investigators and Lanao del Sur police provincial office probe team are now in Cagayan de Oro City holding a case conference with CDO PNP.
Salic, ex-husband of actress Alma Moreno, and his driver, Tayrudin Gunting, were on board a brand new Ford pick-up color red leaving the premises of Pryce Hotel along Mastersons Avenue when ambushed by unidentified gunmen on board a white van at 2 a.m.
He attended a political meeting with supporters in Pryce Hotel.
Salic, last term mayor of Marawi, is running for governor of Lanao del Sur under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
He sustained gunshot wounds in his buttocks, back and right legs, according to Senior Insp. De Leon. His driver suffered a gunshot wound in his face.
After Salic was hit, he jumped off from the vehicle and ran toward the guard house of Pryce Hotel and sought the help of security guard.
He and his driver were later rushed to a private hospital.
Police Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered empty shells for cal. 45 pistol and M-16 armalite rifle.
He said ARMM police is now coordinating with Cagayan PNP in the investigation.
“Motive remain uncertain but there are speculations,” he said.
The mayor’s relatives said he is now in safe condition, expected to recuperate fast with the help of attending physicians.
In a statement, Marantao Guro, speaking for Salic, said the attempt to liquidate the mayor could be politically motivated. He did not name names.
He also sought the help of President Aquino so justice will be served.
The mayor is running for Lanao del Sur governor against Soraya Adiong, mother of incumbent Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., and Lanao Sur Rep. Pangalian Balindong, now in his third term. PNA/ northboundasia.com