14-year-old shot candidate?

Ferdinandh Cabrera
The killing is not the first incidence of violence in Banisilan since the election period

GUNMAN IDENTIFIED. The killer of councilor bet Gaspar "Gaps" Omar has been identified by local police.

BANISILAN, North Cotabato – Cops are looking for a 14-year-old boy who allegedly shot a candidate for councilor last Sunday, April 28. 

Police Senior Supt Danilo Peralta, the provincial police director, said they have witnesses who can pinpoint the lone gunman who shot Gaspar “Gaps” Omar, 35, a councilor bet of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Peralta did not identify the suspect.

“He was shot at the back while fixing some of their paraphernalia and equipment and was about to embark on his vehicle when the suspect [shot him in the back],” Peralta said. 

Chief Insp Ritczel Alucilja, the town police chief, said it was the third attempt on the victim’s life. “The first was in 2008, followed in 2010, but on Sunday night he didn’t escape death,” he said.

The official admitted they had insufficient personnel to secure all politicians on the night of the killing, since different political groups held their respective rallies in 3 separate sites.  

Alucilja said they conducted police patrols but the culprit may have taken advantage of the brownout that night. The town has been experiencing frequent power outages.

Local police are eyeing “rido” or clan feud as the reason behind the killing but they are not discounting politics.

Ambush

The killing is not the first violent incident in this town since the election period.

On March 30 – the start of the campaign period for local candidates – councilor Bobby Rajamuda and his army escort Sgt. Bernie Jornillo were wounded in an ambush while on their way to a sortie in Barangay Busaon.

North Cotabato police director Superintendent Danilo Peralta identified the suspects behind the ambush as Bacbac Sultan and Tanda Kedong. Rido was also considered as a reason for the attack.

On January 15, village chairman Sonny Kadil of Barangay Pantar survived an ambush while his two companions — Takanada Mamukao and Muslimen Ampuan — died when they were waylaid by groups allegedly identified with a certain “Commander Faron,” a former member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The 3 were on their way to a nearby town in Midsayap when the ambush happened. 

The surviving victim said Faron was behind the attack, as they had a longstanding land dispute. Faron has denied that he had a hand in the ambush. 

The Commission on Elections has not declared the town of Banisilan an election hot spot, however. – Rappler.com

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