Mayor, driver shot dead in Libungan, Cotabato

COTABATO City (MindaNews / 11 January) — Mayor Christopher “Amping” Cuan of Libungan, Cotabato was shot dead by still unidentified suspects Monday morning while he was inspecting the ongoing construction of a cockpit arena he owned in Barangay Cabayuran in their town.

He was 46.

Also killed in the attack around 10:30 a.m. was Cuan’s driver, Edwin Navarro Ihao, 36. They both suffered multiple gun shot wounds.

A report from the Cotabato Provincial Police Office (CPPO) said that the victims had just arrived from Davao City and were inspecting the construction of the cockpit arena when four unidentified men aboard a blue sports utility vehicle opened fire at them.

The duo died on the spot due to multiple bullet wounds, the report said.

Citing initial reports from the Libungan police station, Lt. April Rose Soria, CPPO spokesperson, said the assailants tailed the victims and shot them using different long firearms upon arriving at the construction site.

This was the second slay attempt on Cuan, who is one of the mayors included in the narco-politician list released by President Rodrigo Duterte in line with his all-out war campaign against illegal drugs.

On January 8, 2019, a sniper fired on Cuan while he was inside the newly constructed town hall. The bullet missed the mayor but wounded a local government worker.

Cotabato Vice Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza condemned the slaying of Cuan and his driver, and called for a speedy justice for their deaths.

“I condemn in the strongest term the killing of Mayor Cuan, his demise has not only orphaned his family but also his constituents who looked up to him for his leadership,” the official said.