5 killed in Maguindanao ambush PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 December 2014 14:54

Police and military forces on Wednesday beefed up security in Datu Odin Sinsuat and neighboring towns in Maguindanao province to prevent the escalation of violence following the fatal ambush of a member of a big political clan, his two relatives and two other companions early Tuesday night.

Maj. Jo-ann Petinglay, information officer of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said that army and police troopers were deployed in strategic areas in anticipation of a possible retaliation from the victims’ family.

Killed in the ambush were Michael Sinsuat Dalidig, barangay chairman of Dimapatoy; Kagawad Jonathan Benito; Benito’s wife; and Dalidig’s relatives. All of them suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died on the spot.

Petinglay said Sinsuat and company were aboard a minicab vehicle that was negotiating a remote road around 6 p.m.when gunmen sprayed them with bullets.

The scene of the ambush is just a few kilometers from the camp of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

Police said the attackers used various kinds of high-powered firearms, including M-16 rifles, based on empty shells gathered from the ambush scene.

Investigators said they don’t have leads yet as to the motive, but the victims came from the house of Benito when ambushed.

Petinglay said military and police manhunt started Tuesday night and continued until Wednesday.

Maguindanao Vice Gov. Datu Lester Sinsuat, a relative of the slain victim, immediately rushed to the scene Monday night and condemned the killing.

The Sinsuat clan is one of the biggest political clans in Maguindanao.

Maguindanao is a bastion of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), once the largest Muslim insurgent group in southern Philippines. The province is one of several Muslim dominated provinces where revenge killing called “rido” in local dialect is prevalent. It is also one of the provinces in central Mindanao suffering from guerrilla and terror attacks from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a breakaway faction of the MILF opposing the peace deal signed in March this year.