Cotabato City mayor’s executive secretary killed inside eatery

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 25 May) — Still unidentified gunmen shot dead Monday morning the executive secretary and spokesperson of Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi while he was having his breakfast at a carenderia in this city.

Rolen Balquin, Cotabato City Public Safety Office chief, identified the victim as Aniceto “Boy” Rasalan, 58, who worked as a journalist before joining government service.

As of posting time, investigators were reviewing CCTV cameras in the vicinity of Notre Dame Avenue.

Police investigators cordon off the road outside the eatery where Aniceto Rasalan, executive secretary of Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, was killed Monday morning, 25 May 2020. Mindanews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

A member of the Rasalan family said the victim was shot in the head and torso while having his breakfast at the Se Hua eatery along the corner of Notre Dame Avenue at around 7:30 a.m.

SOCO investigators found six slugs of .45 caliber pistol at the crime scene.

Balquin said that two men riding on a motorcycle arrived at the eatery and shot Rasalan.

He was rushed but declared dead upon arrival at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center.

This was the second attempt on the life of Rasalan.

On July 21, 2015, while he was driving a city government-owned vehicle towards work, two men riding tandem on a motorbike drove close to the driver’s side and shot him. He was hit in the face but survived.

Rasalan was a former newspaper correspondent and broadcaster in Cotabato City before he became active in local politics in 2013.

He was appointed executive assistant by the late Cotabato City mayor Guiapal ‘Jojo’ Guiani, younger brother of Mayor Guiani-Sayadi.

Rasalan was Guiani-Sayadi’s executive secretary since 2016.

Police were still looking at the motives for Rasalan’s murder. (With reports from Malu Cadelina-Manar / MindaNews)