Council of Muslim Elders commends Pinol for prompt action in Banisilan

Killed in the strafing at 2:45 p.m. that day in front of the Banisilan Baptist Church in Poblacion 2 were Mama Kadil, Jaylon Dagandal, Usman Mohammad, and Cajelo Utod. Injured were Allan Ambabaynon, Ivan Antao, Kunday Utod, and Mansor Labing, all of them from Barangay Pantar in Banisilan.

Survivors and witnesses said Banisilan Mayor Floro Allado and his security escorts fired at the victims while they were on board a truck loaded with newly-milled rice to be sold in the market.

Members of the Banisilan police and Civilian Volunteers’ Organization were among the mayor’s group which fired at the Moro civilians.

In a resolution signed by Council Chairman Datu Sekak T. Andik and Secretary Abdullah M. Andi, the Council said that through his immediate intervention, “Gov. Piñol was able to assure Muslims that government is there to genuinely serve and protect them, thus further restoring our trust and confidence in the ability of government to ensure justice for us and our kin.”

The governor’s move, the Council said, also prevented “the possibility of further violence that would have negatively affected both Muslim and Christian residents of Banisilan.”

Piñol led a combined police and military team headed by PNP Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Federico L. Dulay, Jr. and 602nd Brigade Commander Col. Pedro S. Soria early morning of November 3, to look into the incident and arrest Mayor Allado and other suspects in the incident.

Piñol also ordered the immediate relief of all police personnel of Banisilan and the disarming of CVOs in the municipality.

The Council of Muslim Elders resolution also commended the Cotabato Police Provincial Office and the 602nd Brigade “for their role in ensuring that justice is served in Banisilan.”