Town mayor dead in ambush-A A +A
Friday, June 15, 2012
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Unidentified gunmen shot dead a top official of the local government unit (LGU) of Montawal town in Maguindanao and wounded another official along the national highway in Kabacan, North Cotabato, around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Superintendent Raul Supiter, chief of Kabacan police, identified the victim as Engineer Ronald Bantiding, 39, municipal planning and development officer of Montawal LGU, and the wounded was Nelson Salama, 40, municipal environment and natural resources officer, also of Montawal town.
Bantiding died on the spot due to multiple gunshot wounds in his head and chest, while Salama sustained two gunshot wounds in his stomach and is undergoing treatment at the Kidapawan Medical Specialist Center (KMSCI) here.
Reports added that Bantiding was driving his Honda XR 200 motorcycle, with Salama on board, when waylaid by the suspects onboard a motorcycle along the highway in Barangay Malabuaya, Kabacan town, just few kilometers away from a detachment of the Army's 7th Infantry Battalion.
Salama, who was also armed with caliber .45 pistol, was able to return fire but was uncertain if he hit any of the suspects, Montawal municipal mayor Datu Uttoh Montawal said.
The attack on Bantiding and Salama came as a surprise to Montawal as he could not think of reasons for the attempt on the life of two of his "most trusted workers".
For him, the death of Bantiding was a big loss to the LGU.
"Bantiding was a hard-working employee. He’s so intelligent and I trust all the projects of the LGU to him. I consider him my partner in serving the people of Montawal," the mayor said.
Montawal added that Salama, before he underwent surgical operations, told him that the gunmen were after him.
"When I asked him why or the reasons for the assault, he won't tell me. The fact that he carries a gun shows there were threats on Salama's life," he added.
The shooting last Wednesday was the fourth incident that happened in Kabacan highway since May.
On Tuesday, a 46-year-old principal of a public school in Barangay Tunggol in Montawal town was wounded when shot at by still unidentified gunman inside the public market of Kabacan town.
Abunawas Genso, principal of Tunggol Elementary School, also in Montawal town, was driving his motorcycle with his wife as passenger when attacked by the gunman.
His wife was unhurt, police said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 15, 2012.