THE Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao ordered the provincial police office of Lanao del Norte to thoroughly investigate the shooting incident that wounded four supporters from two warring political groups in Salvador town, Wednesday, April 3.
PRO-Northern Mindanao director Timoteo Pacleb said he was saddened by the incident which is the first election-related violent incident that happened in the region.
Initial investigation showed that a group of supporters of mayoral candidates Bangcola “Bebot” Umpa and Farhani Tawan-tawan engaged in an exchange of fire in front of the town plaza.
Wounded supporters were identified as Sobair Umpa Abdul Nasser, 44. and Musaab Ampaso Gani, 41 (Umpa group) and Tomie Ameril Managsa, 40, and Junjun Musacal Tandayao (Tawan-tawan group).
PRO-Northern Mindanao spokesperson Surki Sereñas said the four were now in stable condition after being rushed to the hospital.
He said Pacleb has directed the provincial police office to conduct a thorough investigation and file appropriate charges against those involved in the incident.
Sereñas said the gunmen were not identified but the party they belong to was already known.
“(The supporters have been) identified (and) whose party they belong to but (the) ang gunmen wala (were not, but) pero dili layo nga ma-identify kay wala man mamatay ang mga victims so they could identify kinsa namusil (it is still possible that they can still identify the shooters because the victims were not dead),” Sereñas said.
He also said they are also awaiting the recommendation of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“If ever it will be established and validated that those responsible are indeed personnel or party-mates of whatever party or candidates, we will just follow the recommendation of the Comelec kay naa pud tulubagon kaning mga (there are also accountabilities on) candidates but it will be determined by the Comelec,” he added.
Sereñas has been reminding candidates to also warn their supporters to refrain unruly behavior and violence during campaign rallies.
“Pwede na unta to nato i-prove nga dili kita angay mabutang sa category “red” nga election hot spot but because of that naa na hinoon validation nga we should be in the category red,” he added.
(We can prove that we should not be worthy of being under category “red” as election hotspot, but because there are incidents like that, there’s are now validations that we may actually deserve the category red). (Alwen Saliring)