Candidate for councilor killed in NorthCot

BANISILAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews/30 April) – A candidate for councilor in Banisilan, North Cotabato was shot dead Sunday night
after a campaign rally in the town center, a police official said.

Senior Supt. Danilo Peralta, provincial police director of this province identified the victim as Gaspar Omar, who ran under the
United Nationalist Alliance.

Peralta said they have witnesses who pointed to a 14-year old boy as the assailant.

“He was fixing some of their paraphernalia and equipment and was about to board his vehicle when the suspect opened fire behind him. He died
immediately,” he said.

Chief Inspector Ritczel Alucilja, the town police chief said it was the third attempt to kill the victim.

“The first was in 2008, followed in 2010 but on Sunday night he didn’t escape death”, he said.

The official said three political groups held rallies in the town that night and his he had no enough personnel to provide security to all
candidates.

He said that while they conducted patrols at the rally sites the assailant may have taken advantage of the brownout.

The whole province has been experiencing frequent power outages.

Local police said either politics or rido (clan feud) could be the motive behind the killing.

Alucilja said the election has made politicians who have unresolved conflicts with other clans vulnerable to attacks because they tend to
be more exposed to the public.

The killing was not the first election-related incident in this town this year.

On March 30, the official start of the campaign for local positions, town councilor Bobby Rajamuda and his army escort Sergeant Bernie
Jornillo were wounded in an ambush on their way to a sortie in Barangay Busaon.

Peralta identified the suspects behind the ambush as Bacbac Sultan and Tanda Kedong.

Peralta said rido was also seen as the root of conflict.

On January 15, village chair Sonny Kadil of Barangay Pantar was wounded while his two companions, Takanada Mamukao and Muslimen
Ampuan, died in an ambush in Midsayap town.

The attackers were linked to Kumander Faron of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Kumander Faron.

The victims said they and Faron have a longstanding land feud and leadership dispute.

The Commission on Elections has not declared Banisilan as an area of immediate concern in the coming polls. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)