2 hurt in bomb explosion in Shariff Aguak

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/21 November) – A homemade bomb exploded in Shariff Aguak town, Maguindanao at 6:30 Sunday morning, injuring two persons two days before the first anniversary of the  November 23, 2009 massacre of 58 persons in neighboring Ampatuan town.

Superintendent Marcelo Pintac, Maguindanao police chief, identified the victims as Bai Haydee Uy and Jalandoni Ampatuan. He said two suffered minor injuries from shrapnels.

The improvised explosive device went off  at the roadside of Barangay Sasi in Shariff Aguak.

Pintac said they are looking into the motive and target of the bombing.

The houses of some members of the Ampatuan clan -Datu Salibo mayor Akmad Ampatuan, Rajah Buayan mayor Jacob Ampatuan and 2nd district Representative Simeon Datumanong.

The Ampatuans lorded over Maguindanao until the patriarch, three-term governor Datu Andal Ampatuan Sr., four of his sons and a brother-in-law were arrested and detained as the suspected perpetrators of the massacre.

Datu Unsay mayor Datu Andal Ampatuan, Jr., who was supposed to run for governor,  was identified as the person who led about a hundred men in flagging down the convoy of vehicles from Buluan, Maguindanao, among them 32 media workers and two female lawyers, herding them off to a hilltop three kilometres from the highway where they were killed, some of them buried in mass graves.

Five persons in two vehicles that were not part of the convoy but happened to be there at the wrong time, were also among the victims.

The convoy came from Buluan, Maguindanao and was en route to the provincial office of the Commission on Elections in the next town, Shariff Aguak, to hand over the certificate of candidacy of  Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu. Mangudadatu  originally intended to go to Shariff Aguak but was prevailed upon by his mother, as there were already reports then of possible violence.

In his stead, the family decided to send the women, including the vice mayor’s wife and two sisters, to file the certificate of candidacy. They did not reach their destination.

Mangudadatu is now governor of Maguindanao. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)