Marawi folks refute drug lord tag on slain neighbor PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 March 2016 11:16

Relatives and neighbors of slain Marawi City resident Otical Awar denied allegations he was a drug trafficker and that his brutal murder last December 2015 could be an offshoot of his alleged illegal activities.

“He was never a drug dealer as insinuated by certain groups, including some people in the government. He was, in fact, cooperative with efforts to get rid of illegal drugs in his community,” a close relative said on Wednesday.

Awar was shot dead in late December by unidentified gunmen in Marawi City.

A neighbor of Awar said they were saddened by assertions that he was involved in trafficking of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) when he was still alive.

“We can say, without fear, he was not a drug dealer as alleged. He was a good neighbor and protective of his neighbors. He was also helpful to his poor neighbors,” seconded a friend of Awar residing in Marawi City.

Awar was known among friends and relatives as a generous person who  shared food to them during the Islamic Ramadhan fasting season, when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for one month as a religious obligation.

“There was nothing wrong with him. He was friendly to both Muslims and Christians. His death was saddening. Until now we are grieving over his demise,” said a cousin of Awar.

Some friends are even speculating his murder could be politically-motivated owing to his influence over thousands of voters in Marawi City.

“He has many friends in Marawi City,” seconded a relative, who lives in the same village where Awar resided.

Barangay folks said there was no truth either to assertions he was a drug dealer who used connections with certain powerful people to ensure the continuity of his activities.

“I can swear over the graves of my ancestors he was not like that. He was never a drug dealer,” said a barangay official in Marawi City, who asked not to be identified.