Ampatuan mayor’s lawyer wounded; survives ambush

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/02 July) – The lawyer of Ampatuan Mayor Zacaria Sangki sustained injuries when armed men fired at his vehicle as it was cruising along Sinsuat Avenue here around 9:30 a.m.

The lawyer, Richard Piteste, was with his driver and two soldier-escorts when two armed men fired at his Toyota Revo.

Piteste sustained injuries in the legs from glass shards.

It is not clear if Piteste’s escorts managed to return fire but operatives in Police Precinct 2 said they rushed to the crime scene following a phone call on what happened.

The police said they found no empty shells in the crime scene.

Tepeste could not be found in any of the hospitals in the city.

But Maguindanao Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu confirmed that Piteste was indeed Sangki’s lawyer.

He stressed that the police should go after the members of the Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO) sympathetic to the Ampatuans, especially those involved in the November 23, 2009 massacre who have remained at large despite the warrants of arrest. At least 197 persons were identified as suspects in the massacre of at least 58 persons, 32 of them from the media.

However, only eight have been arrested, among them the Ampatuan patriarch, Datu Andal Sr., his sons Datu Andal Jr., Datu Zaldy, Datu Anwar, Datu Sajid and son-in-law Akmad “Tato” Ampatuan. (Ferdinand Cabrera / MindaNews)