COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Armed men killed a scion of a powerful political family and his companion in a gun attack at a busy commercial area in Lutayan town, Sultan Kudarat province, on Tuesday night, December 13.
Police said 30-year-old businessman Naga Mangudadatu was with a group outside his store when still unidentified gunmen sprayed them with automatic gunfire.
The attack killed Mangudadatu and 25-year-old Hadji Dennis Hadji Daup of Barangay Paitan, Mangudadatu town, Maguindanao del Sur.
Police said two others – Watari Kalim and an 11-year-old boy – were wounded.
Naga was a son of Lutayan Mayor Pax Mangudadatu, whose family has ruled in Sultan Kudarat for decades, and a half-brother of former governor Suharto Teng Mangudadatu.
The Mangudadatu patriarch is the grandfather and namesake of Sultan Kudarat Governor Pax Ali Mangudadatu, and the father-in-law of Maguindanao del Sur Governor Mariam Mangudadatu, Suharto’s wife.
Naga himself had attempted to start a political career. He ran for vice mayor in Mangudadatu town in May but lost.
Lutayan police chief Captain Leonel Delasan said the killers came in a pickup truck and staged the attack while Naga was watching workers as they closed his store at the town’s public market at around 6:30 pm.
Naga was rushed to a hospital but died of multiple gunshot wounds before he could reach the emergency room.
Sultan Kudarat police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lino Capellan said the gunmen were heavily armed, using M14 and M16 rifles against Naga and his group.
“As of now, we have no idea yet as to the motive for the killing. We don’t know if it is related to politics, business, rido (clan feud), or anything. Our investigation is still ongoing,” said Capellan. – Rappler.com