CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Mayor Mohammad Exchan Limbona of Pantar, Lanao del Norte, was killed in an ambush in Iligan City Thursday night, December 29.
Police said unidentified gunmen fired at the vehicle of Limbona, who was with his wife, daughter, and two escorts, in Barangay Dalipuga at around 9:30 pm.
Limbona was brought to the Adventist Medical Center but was declared dead less than an hour after the incident.
Limbona’s escorts, Police Officer 1 Russel Jay Paltingca and Police Officer 1 Saidamen Haji Naim, were hit in the legs. The mayor’s wife, Ginima, and daughter Sittie Aisha were not hurt.
Iligan City Police Director Police Superintendent Roy Ga told Magnum Radio in an interview that an undetermined number of men fired on the driver’s side of Limbona’s Ford Everest, hitting Limbona and his escorts.
Ga said that the possible motive for the killing could either be politics or rido, a family feud that permeates Maranao culture.
In 2015, on the last day of the filing of election candidacy, a combined force of Regional Public Safety Battalion, a platoon of army soldiers and 4 Simba light armoured vehicle of the Philippine Army prevented armed confrontation between Limbona’s men and acting mayor Jabar Tago.
Pantar was declared as an election hotspot in the 2016 elections. – Rappler.com