(Political rivalry sparks violence)Candidate, 3 family members killed in gun attack Print
Monday, 23 April 2018 13:30

By RICHARD FALCATAN

A candidate in the upcoming May elections and three family members were killed when assailants opened fire at their residence in Barangay Camamburingan, Ungkaya Pukan at dawn yesterday.

Authorities are now holding the town’s barangay captain under investigation after the latter showed up bearing firearms at a military camp hours after the killing.

According to a military report, armed men attacked the residence of Usan Asani, former Barangay Captain of Camamburingan, Ungkaya Pukan, resulting to the death of the latter and three family members.

The incident occurred after Asani filed his certificate of candidacy to challenge the town’s incumbent Barangay Captain, Hernie Asao.

Security forces immediately pursued the assailants following leads from local witnesses.

“Upon receiving reports from the locals, we immediately conducted support to law enforcement operations by our PNP counterparts to pursue the suspected gunmen,” said BGen Juvymax Uy, Task Force Basilan Commander.

Hours later however,  a fully- armed Asao showed up at the headquarters of the 18th Infantry Battalion in Ungkaya Pukan.

Authorities confiscated an M16 rifle and an M203 grenade launcher from Asao’s possession.

Asao will face charges of illegal possession of firearms in violation of the Comelec gun ban.

He is also undergoing investigation on his possible involvement in the attack against the Asani family.

“We commend the cooperation of the locals and the swift action of our security forces.  While we cannot commit to a zero-election related incident, our troops together with different organizations will continue to work overtime to ensure that such imminent incidents will remain isolated and resolved,” Uy assured.

“We are geared to ensure a safe and credible election this May 14,” said Uy.  (Richard Falcatan)