Village councilor, 2 others hurt in Cotabato ambush

COTABATO CITY – A village councilman and two others were wounded when armed men ambushed them along Gonzalo Javier Street, Barangay Rosary Heights 7 here Wednesday evening.

Senior Supt. Rolly Octavio, city police director, identified the victims as Barangay Rosary Heights 7 council member Tokan Mamalangkas; motorcycle driver Abubakar Ayunan Ali, 31; and Julba Amil Guiamal, 71, a female vendor.

Mamalangkas was back-riding the motorcycle driven by Ali along Gonzalo Javier St. around 6:45 p.m. when fired upon by gunmen positioned on one side of the road,  Octavio said.

“The village official sustained gunshot wounds in the mouth, chest and right leg while the motorbike driver was hit in his right leg,” Octavio said. Guiamal, who was passing by the area, was hit by a stray bullet on her left foot.

The three victims were rushed to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.

Relatives of Mamalangkas, who requested anonymity, said they believed he was the target of the ambush.

The incident came two days after another councilman in the same village was killed by armed men on the same spot.

On Monday, gunmen shot and killed Barangay Rosary Heights 7 councilman Jainudin Dimao while on his way home around 5:30 p.m.

Dimao was driving his motorbike when fired upon by gunmen, who separately fled aboard a motorbike and a black car.  He died on the spot.

Probers believe that the successive attacks on the village councilmen could be work-related as both were active in the anti-illegal drugs campaign in their village.

Octavio said police foot and mobile patrols will be intensified in the area to prevent similar incidents from happening. Noel Punzalan and Edwin Fernandez/