Killing of BARMM education official ‘alarming’ – Iqbal

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 12 July) – Mohagher Iqbal, Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), said the recent assassination attack on an education official of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was “alarming.”

Mohagher Iqbal, BARMM Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education. Mindanews Photo

Killed was Maguid Mangudadatu, 63, schools district supervisor for Central Buluan in the municipality of Buluan in Maguindanao.

He died of multiple gunshot wounds from a caliber .45 pistol while about to park his vehicle in his residential compound in Purok Kamias, Barangay Poblacion, President Quirino town in Sultan Kudarat on Sunday.

Lt. Godofredo Tupaz, the town’s deputy police chief, said the police had already launched a manhunt to track down the suspect but has so far failed to locate the perpetrator. 

The police, who has condemned the attack, has not yet issued a statement on the motive.

Iqbal’s MBHTE office has issued a condemnation statement and has urged the police to immediately conduct investigation and bring justice to the bereaved family.

“The MBHTE is deeply saddened of such tragic incident. We truly condemn any form of violence, prejudice, and hatred,” he said.

On January 17 this year, a district supervisor identified as Javier Kumandi Sr. from the first district office of the MBHTE was killed while his wife was wounded when they were ambushed by still unknown assailants.

Based on the investigation, the couple was onboard their vehicle and was on their way home. The suspects blocked the vehicle then open fired at them. To this day, the case remains unsolved.

Another shooting incident involving education officials took place last May 30 in Barangay Malangit in Pandag, Maguindanao. Baimhon Ambalgan, a Tacurong City resident and principal of the Campo Elementary School, was driving her Honda Fit with her daughter, who is also a teacher, when they were ambushed around 3 p.m. by gunmen on a motorbike.

Ambalgan was wounded but luckily, she and her daughter survived.

Iqbal has discounted the May elections as the reason for the shootings.

“One thing we did before the election during our orientations, that we will remain neutral to politics,” he said. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)