Residence of suspended Shariff Aguak mayor attacked

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao (MindaNews/13 December) – Bursts of gunfire followed by the explosions of two grenade launchers hit the compound of suspended Shariff Aguak Mayor Bai Zahara Ampatuan Friday evening.

Bai Anhara Ampatuan, the first councilor who turned OIC vice mayor after her mother-started serving the suspension, said the explosions occurred around 9pm on Friday in the middle of a power outage that affected the whole town.

No one was hurt but it caused tension inside the compound due to the total darkness.

Ampatuan said it was the third time that they were attacked and the family believes it was politically motivated.

She said she and her mother had received death threats, and there were text messages threatening to kill her inside her home or even in the Sangguniang Bayan hall.

She did not name names but said it’s part of what one would experience if he or she is into politics in Maguindanao.

The mayor has been suspended due to warrant of arrest issued by a local court linking her to the killing of a Sangguniang Bayan worker.

Her family vehemently denied the accusation and insisted it was part of political ploy to oust her.

The suspended mayor said over the phone that only time can tell the truth. She said she was saddened by the recent violence in her town despite her efforts to make it peaceful.

Last Tuesday, another Ampatuan, former Datu Salibo Mayor Akmad Ampatuan was ambushed in the boundary of Talayan and Guindulungan town on his way to Shariff Aguak.

He was wounded along with his two escorts.

Akmad Ampatuan’s son, Maroph, has assumed as mayor of Shariff Aguak.

Akmad is a nephew of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., one of the principal suspects in the Nov. 23, 2009 Ampatuan Massacre that killed 58 people.

Sahara is a daughter-in-law of Andal Sr. (Feradiandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)