Election official slain in Tulunan

Claudio said the victim was driving his motorbike when waylaid by two bonnet-wearing assailants onboard a black Honda motorcycle along the highway in Barangay Buayan, M’lang.

Police recovered from the crime scene empty shells of a .45 caliber pistol.

Mecutuan was considered by his peers at the Comelec in North Cotabato as a ‘troubleshooter’ or one who fixed election problems in many areas of Southwestern Mindanao.

He was once assigned in the Lanao provinces and in other areas of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

His last assignment before he was detailed in Tulunan town was in Pikit, North Cotabato.

Joel Celis, Comelec officer of President Roxas, North Cotabato, said he remembers Mecutuan telling him when they met at the provincial capitol here last March that he wanted to apply for early retirement.

“I asked him why and he just smiled. I was shocked to know he got killed.  I just don’t know if his request for an early retirement was, in a way, connected to his death,” said Celis.

He said Mecutuan’s was a big loss for Comelec.

“We considered him as our leader, a father.  He is so knowledgeable in so many things” he said.

Police were still investigating on the motive of the crime and the identities of the killers.  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)