Ex-town councilor of Lanao del Sur tagged in Marawi shooting

Lanao del Sur. Map courtesy of Google

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 16 March) — A former councilor of Ganassi town in Lanao del Sur has been named as the suspect behind the shooting on Wednesday in Marawi City where a government ambulance was used.

Major Alvison Mustapha, spokesperson of the Lanao del Sur provincial police identified the suspect as Ansary Marohombsar, who is reportedly working as a municipal employee.

“He is now the subject of our manhunt. For now the ambulance used in the crime has officially been turned over to our office,” Mustapha said.

He said their Investigation showed that Marohombsar had a grudge with the victim, Joseph Alindo Saragena, who was wounded in the hand during the attack. 

“We are pushing the case of frustrated murder and gun ban violation against the suspect,” he added.

The Philippine National Police has imposed a gun ban in the provinces of Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao, and Special Geographic Areas (SGAs) in North Cotabato in the Bangsamoro region.

The measure was imposed in response to the ambush of the convoy of Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. that  wounded the official and killed four of his security aides, the spate of killings in Pikit and SGAs in Cotabato province that victimized minors, and threats posed by ISIS-inspired groups.

SGAs refer to barangays in Cotabato that voted for inclusion in the autonomous region during the plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Law in 2019.

Mustapha said the suspect sat in the front seat and told the still unidentified driver to lower his (driver’s) window before shooting the victim.

Dr. Alinader Minalang, Provincial Health of Officer of Lanao del Sur expressed dismay upon learning about the use of the ambulance in the shooting incident.

“I’m just disappointed, frustrated and saddened and wanted to figure out how someone not our employee managed to use the health vehicle in his personal vendetta,” he said.

Minalang has sent a fact-finding team to conduct an administrative investigation of what happened and reorient their medical workers on the protocols and policies to follow.

“I don’t know if the suspect was authorized but it was the driver’s call. There should have been a trip ticket or logbook for those who are on board the ambulance. The way I understand it, we serve sick people and emergency situations,” he added. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)