Barangay official in drug list killed in North Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/11 August) – A barangay official in Makilala, North Cotabato suspected of involvement in illegal drug trade was shot dead around 3:00 a.m. Friday by an unidentified gunman, the Makilala Police said.

Investigators identified the victim as Florante Cuas, 46, the number one kagawad of Barangay Sinkatulan, Makilala.

Cuas’ wife Heidi said her husband was sitting in their terrace when the gunman shot him with a caliber .45 pistol several times in his head. He sustained four gunshot wounds in the temple.

Scene of the crime operatives in North Cotabato recovered from the crime scene seven slugs from a pistol, police said.

Heidi said she doesn’t know why her husband was killed, but recalled that sometime this year, his name appeared in a list of persons allegedly involved in illegal drug trade in Makilala town. The list was displayed in public in Sinkatulan.

She denied her husband was into selling drugs. “In fact, he supported the campaign against drugs in our barangay.”

She said that when they saw the list, they immediately went to the Makilala police station to have it recorded. Her husband even submitted himself to the police for investigation.

She added the drug watch list could have been circulated by those opposed to her husband’s plan to run as barangay chair.

Meanwhile, another shooting incident happened in Kidapawan City, the third this month.

The victim was identified as Armand Dayaga, 44, construction worker from Barangay Manongol.

Michael, Dayaga’s son who witnessed the shooting said that a man who wore bonnet and maong jacket on board a motorcycle without a license plate shot and wounded his father, around 7 a.m., Friday.

The victim was driving his bicycle on his way to the construction site in Barangay Manongol when the gunman shot his head twice.

Dayaga’s wife Normalita said he was still fighting for his life. Doctors at the Kidapawan Medical Specialist Center were hopeful the victim could survive through oxygen support.

In an interview over Catholic-run dxND, she denied reports her husband was connected to a drug syndicate.

“My husband doesn’t smoke. He doesn’t have any vice at all. So why would he engage in drugs,” she asked.

Dayaga’s shooting was the 26th incident in Kidapawan since January this year. Most of these incidents were drug-related, police said. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)