SALAVADOR, Lanao del Norte -- A municipal councilor was shot dead Monday morning in Barangay Buntong, in this town while on his way to attend a regular session.

SPO4 Eulogio Cagod, operations officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP), identified the victim as Subair Tawan-tawan, 40, chair of the council’s committee on health.

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Cagod said Tawan-tawan, who was wearing a barong, was on board his single motorcycle when three armed men wearing bonnets flagged him down and shot him at close range while on his way to this town.

Several empty shells from an M16 rifle were recovered at the crime scene.

The victim's face was beyond recognition while his body was riddled with bullets. His body was buried on the same day in Buntong based on Muslim rites.

Vice Mayor Sultan Jhonny Tawan-tawan, a relative of the victim, said the councilor was a great loss to the council as he reportedly performed his role as public servant religiously.

The victim, he said, was a peace advocate, having initiated peace keeping efforts in the municipality of Salvador, a Christian dominated town.

At the height of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front atrocities in 2008, Tawan-tawan was among those who strongly opposed against the presence of the Moro rebels in the municipality.

He was also instrumental in the retrieval and rescue of a child who was kidnapped last year in Kapatagan town and was brought to Lanao del Sur.

Vice Mayor Tawan-tawan said there were 10 suspected armed men who could be responsible for the murder of his relative.

He said the case will be filed in court next week. (Richel V. Umel)