Policeman wounded in Lanao Sur ambush

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Nov) – Unidentified gunmen ambushed a Toyota Innova driven by police escorts of Masiu town Mayor Nasser P. Pangandaman Jr., while traversing the highway in Lanao del Sur, Sunday morning, wounding one of the policemen.

But military and police reports interviewed by MindaNews had conflicting reports if the mayor was on board the Toyota or not and where the ambush took place.

Col. Jose Maria Cuerpo, commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Marawi City, said the mayor was in Masiu waiting for his escorts but the latter were waylaid in the municipality of Mulondo, about 20 kms southeast of Marawi.

On the other hand, Col. Madzgani Mukaram, provincial police director of Lanao del Sur, said Pangandaman was on board but was unharmed. He was still able to proceed to Masiu to preside over a meeting of the Municipal Peace and Order Council after the ambush in the town of Buadipuso-Buntong, the town before to Mulondo coming from Marawi.

Police said Cpl. Jabbar Pangandaman was hit in the abdomen while two civilians onboard another vehicle were also wounded. Jammal Gabriel Pangandaman was reportedly in the knee while Casanoding Mangandog suffered gunshot wound in his buttocks.

“The gunmen immediately left the scene and was pursued by soldiers stationed nearby,” Cuerpo said. He added that soldiers confiscated several high-powered firearms but have not arrested any suspects.

He said they suspect the motive of the ambush was “rido” or clan feud practiced by warring families in Lanao del Sur.

Mukaram said the wounded were brought to the Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi for treatment and are now safe from danger.

Lt. Col. Edgar Allan Villanueva, commander of 49th Infantry Battalion, and Lt. Col. Rafman Altre, 82IB commander, in coordination with the PNP, are currently scouring the area in search of the perpetrators. (Froilan Gallardo and Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)