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ILIGAN, Philippines – Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. and one of his aides were hurt and four of their companions were killed in an ambush on Friday afternoon, February 17.
The ambush was staged a day after police placed three Bangsamoro provinces and Cotabato City under a heightened alert status.
A memorandum sent to police company commanders by the Regional Mobile Force Battalion of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the Bangsamoro region showed the upgraded alert status in Lanao del Sur, the Maguindanao provinces, and Cotabato City effective Thursday, February 16.
It came just a day before a still unidentified group ambushed Adiong and his companions in the village of Dilimbayan, Maguing town in Lanao del Sur.
Adiong and his office aide, Ali Macapado Tabao, were hurt in the ambush carried out at around 4 pm near the boundary of Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon.
Four men in the Adiong-led convoy were killed. Police identified them as the following:
- Juraij Adiong
- Aga Sumandar
- Jalil Cosain
- A driver identified only as Kobi
Police said Governor Adiong and Tabao sustained gunshot wounds, and were rushed to the nearest hospital in Kalilangan town in Bukidnon province.
Another police report said Adiong suffered a hip wound. He is being rushed to another hospital in Cagayan de Oro as of posting time.
Initial investigation showed that Adiong’s group was traversing from Maguing to Wao towns in Lanao del Sur when the ambush was staged by heavily armed men.
Police could not say what the motive was.
In a statement, the governor’s brother, Lanao del Sur 1st District Representative Zia Adiong, said the provincial chief executive “is in very stable condition.”
“The worst has passed. He’s out of danger,” Zia said.
He added, “We are heartbroken over the deaths of his security details, all of whom [were] family members who were with my brother during the violent attack. We offer our deepest sympathies to all of our bereaved loved ones.”
The congressman called on authorities to act with urgency and use all legal means available to pursue and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“This condemnable act must not be taken lightly. May peace prevail in our beloved Lanao del Sur,” he said.– Rappler.com