Soldiers, cops sent to NorthCot town to suppress violence

Senior Supt. Federico Dulay, provincial police director, also arrived together with Governor Emmanuel Piñol to investigate the encounters Thursday afternoon in the poblacion which killed four persons and injured four others.

Dulay has ordered the immediate relief of all members of the Banisilan police, including its chief, Insp. Abraham Dandan. They have been placed in protective custody at the provincial police headquarters in Barangay Amas, Kidapawan City while the case is still being investigated.

He also ordered the disarming of two police officers identified only as Molina and Sellarta, who, witnesses said, were with Allado when the encounters took place.

Molina and Sellarta were Allado’s escorts, according to Barangay Poblacion chair Jennifer Macalingcag.

In an interview, Piñol said he will suspend Allado if he finds prima facie evidence linking the mayor to the killings.

The clashes resulted in the death of Mama Kadil, Kus Mohammad, Zaynon Dagandan, and Cajelo Udtog.

Injured were Monsour Labing, 17; Kunday Udtog alias Robot, 45; Ivan Anto; and Allan Ambabay, 24, all residents of Barangay Pantar, a village in Banisilan predominantly inhabited by Maguindanaos.

Monsour Labing, in an interview, denied reports it was their group that fired first at Mayor Allado.

“I was there because I wanted to buy a new pair of sandals for me. I didn’t go there to fight or to kill anybody,” Labing, who was hit in the right foot and left arm, said in his native dialect.

Kunday Udtog also denied that Commander Faron, believed to be a leader of an armed group operating in Banisilan town, was with them.

“I know who Commander Faron is, but he was not with us. We are also not members of his group,” said Udtog.

On the other hand, Allado claimed he had fought with an armed Moro group out to attack his town.

Since last week, he has ordered his policemen to tighten security in the town after receiving persistent reports about the threats.

As of this report, Allado was still inside his office guarded by some armed village tanods or members of the Civilian Volunteer Organization. Dulay has ordered the mayor’s security escorts, all policemen, to return to their stations.