5 killed in Maguindanao ambush

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 9 Dec) – A barangay captain, his councilor and relatives died on the spot as an undetermined number of armed men sprayed bullets towards their Multicab in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao early evening Tuesday.

Maj. Jo-ann Petinglay, information chief of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said they received reports from ground troops that the ambush took place as the barangay captain and his companions were traversing Barangay Dimapatoy of the said town around 6 p.m.

Dimapatoy is just a few kilometers from the 6ID’s camp.

Senior Insp. Datu Tulon Pinguiaman, Datu Odin Sinsuat chief of police, identified the fatalities as Michael Sinsuat Dalidig, chairman of Barangay Dimapatoy; barangay councilor Jonathan Benito; Benito’s wife; and Dalidig’s relatives who suffered multiple gunshot wounds that caused their instantaneous death.

Initial police investigation disclosed that the assailants used various kinds of high-powered firearms, including M-16 rifles, based on empty shells gathered from the crime scene.

Pinguiaman said they don’t have leads yet as to the motive, but said the victims came from the house of Benito when ambushed.

Police manhunt and follow-up investigation is under way, he added.

Maguindanao Vice Gov. Datu Lester Sinsuat, a relative of the slain victim, immediately rushed to the crime scene tonight as he vehemently condemned the killing.

The Sinsuat clan is one of the biggest political clans in Maguindanao.