Datukon’s driver, identified as Michael Muhammad, was also killed during the ambush. He expired a few hours after he was brought to the Cotabato City Medical Specialist Hospital.
The Police are also clueless as to the identities of the killers, according to Sr. Insp. Samson Obatay, spokesman for the Cotabato City Police.
A witness said the suspects, clad in soldiers’ uniforms, were armed with M-16 Armalite rifles. “You would never think that these guys were hired killers, knowing that they wore soldiers’ uniforms,” said a witness who requested anonymity.
This as Obatay urged witnesses to come out in the open and help in the investigation “so that the case would be resolved soon.”
Many cases like this, said the police, are seldom settled because “none among the witnesses are willing to testify.”
Datukon, aside from being on the top post of the ARMM Social Fund, also worked as legal adviser of ARMM Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan.
The brutal slay has triggered an indignation among residents in the city, including Moro and Christian leaders, business sector, academe, and civil society groups.
Other groups have urged the national government to make an immediate revamp of the local police for its lackluster performance in addressing the unabated killings here, mostly perpetrated in supposedly guarded busy spots.
Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema, chair of the city peace and order council, said he has asked President Arroyo to order the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the killing of Datukon, who was related to him both by blood and affinity.
The murder of Datukon, he stressed, was a big shock “not only to my family, but all other relatives and friend as well.” (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)