Killings in Pikit ‘politically motivated’, says council member

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 17 January) — A member of the provincial council in North Cotabato claimed the series of killings and explosions in Pikit town were ‘politically motivated’.

North Cotabato board member Dulia Sultan said these violent incidents which have claimed a number of lives, were aimed at destroying the credibility and leadership of Pikit mayor Sumulong Sultan, her husband.

According to data from the Cotabato Provincial Police Office (CPPO), at least five shooting incidents and a powerful blast happened in different areas in Pikit since the start of the year, the most recent on Wednesday where two persons were killed.

This prompted CPPO provincial director, Col. Maximo Layugan, to call for an emergency meeting with the chief of police in Pikit.

Lt. Col. Bernanrd Tayong, CPPO spokesperson, said that during the meeting on Thursday, Pikit’s police chief, Captain Mautin Pangandigan, assured the provincial police office they are speeding up efforts to file  charges against those involved in the shooting incidents.

Of these, two cases would be filed next week, Pangandigan said.

Authorities have yet to dig deeper if there’s truth to claims these were “politically motivated.”

Sultan said they already have clues as to who could be behind these attacks but declined to name them.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)