COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot and wounded the elections officer of Maguindanao del Norte’s capital town in an ambush along Governor Gutierrez Street in Cotabato City’s uptown district on Friday, November 4.
Authorities said election officer Raufden Mangelen of Datu Odin Sinsuat town was attacked while he was with his nephew in a Mitsubishi Montero SUV.
They dropped by a fruit stand to buy bananas and were about to leave when motorcycle-riding gunmen came and fired at them.
The attack came a month after defeated Datu Odin Sinsuat mayoral candidate Jamael Sinsuat was shot and killed in the Maguindanao del Norte capital.
In the May polls, Sinsuat had challenged his nephew Lester, who was the reelectionist mayor of the municipality and a former Maguindanao vice governor.
The governor of the new province of Maguindanao del Norte, Fatima Ainee, is Lester’s wife.
Like Jamael Sinsuat, Mangelen was attacked shortly after he left a mosque around noon.
Maguindanao provincial elections supervisor Udtog Tago said Mangelen and his nephew were shaken, but were already out of danger.
Mangelen was hit by a bullet on his shoulder, and was rushed to a hospital.
“He just came from a Friday Muslim prayer, and just bought something along the way when they were attacked,” Tago said.
Investigators said the gunmen used pistols with silencers, and the slugs found at the crime scene indicated that caliber .45 pistols were used.
A vendor said she initially thought that it was a car accident.
“When I realized it was a gun attack, I ran and hid,” she said.
Witnesses said the gunmen sped off on a motorcycle southward after pulling off the attack in broad daylight.
Police said they were looking into the possibility that the attempt on Mangelen’s life was related to his work as elections officer of Datu Odin Sinsuat town. – Rappler.com