Police nabs suspect in attempted slay of mayor

Police Supt. Teng Mamalinta Tocao, provincial director of the Sultan Kudarat Police, identified the suspect as Ramil Ulama. Ulama will also face charges of violation of the gun ban and illegal possession of firearms.

Ulama was arrested in a police checkpoint along the highway in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, at  around 12 noon, Monday, five hours after he attempted to kill Mayor Allaga.

Ulama, on board a black motorcycle, shot and killed Paterno Cañonero, laborer in a hollow block factory in the mayor’s compound in Barangay Poblacion, Bagumbayan.

Ulama, according to Tocao, is a hired killer. Tocao said they are still investigating on who hired Ulama.

Allaga was about to board his Isuzu pickup when two motorcycle-riding men emerged from the east portion of the road where one of the suspects started firing his gun.   

Allaga said that when Cañonero was hit, he dropped and took cover.   One of the security escorts tried to pursue the gunmen but failed.

The mayor told DXND Kidapawan that he received a warning from police intelligence community in December to be extra cautious as he was reportedly identified as among the targets of a liquidation squad.  

“I didn’t mind it at all when I received that text. It’s because I know that I have nothing to fear. I don’t have any enemy or political foe, whatever,” he stressed.

Allaga, who is completing his third and last term in office, said he is not planning to run for any “sensible” position in the coming elections.

Ulama is now detained at the Bagumbayan Police station while Sultan Kudarat PNP are preparing to file appropriate charges against him. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)