(Updated 5:06 p.m.)
- At least 13 people were killed while a town mayor and nine others were wounded in an ambush by unidentified gunmen in Lanao del Norte province Thursday evening, police said Friday.
SPO1 Diosdado Alarcon of the Lanao del Norte provincial police office said the incident occurred at 6 p.m. in Barangay Malaig in Nunungan town, as Mayor Abdul Malik Manamparan and his supporters were returning from a campaign sortie.
Alarcon told GMA News Online in a phone interview Friday that among those killed was Adnani, Manamparan's daughter.
"Ang mga sugatan dinala sa hospital, sa Sanitarium at Mercy Hospital ng Iligan City," Alarcon said in an interview on dzBB radio.
Manamparan was among the wounded but the mayor is in stable condition. “Ang tama ni mayor hindi masyadong malubha,” said Alarcon.
Initially, 12 people were reported killed, along with nine others wounded.
But later in the afternoon, Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero, commander of the Army's 1st Infantry Division, said one of those initially reported as wounded, died.
"Reports of the additional wounded also just came in," Lucero said, referring to the increase in the number of wounded persons.
“Maayos naman si mayor. [Pero] may tama siya – daplis sa ulo at sa iba't ibang parte ng katawan,” Col Rick Jalad, acting Commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade, told News to Go host Kara David in an interview on Friday.
Manamparan was in his room and is recuperating, said Jalad.
They mayor, who is seeking the vice mayoral seat of Nunungan under the Nationalist People's Coalition in the May elections, was in the company of his supporters when unidentified men fired at them, said Jalad.
The mayor told Jalad that he and his group were on the way back from Barangay Malaig when they were ambushed by men with high-powered firearms.
“Pero unfortunately wala silang na-identify kasi ang immediate action nila ay magtago – iligtas 'yung sarili nila. Wala naman silang baril na dala-dala kaya 'yun ang unang-una nilang ginawa, ang magtago,” Jalad explained.
But according to Alarcon, Manamparan's group was armed and a firefight between the two groups caused the assailants to retreat.
"Nakipagputukan [ang panig ni mayor] at nag-withdraw ang armado," said Alarcon. He added that only PO1 Frenil Lagoting, the group's police escort and among those injured, was armed.
Investigators could not yet determine if the shooting was related to the May 13 elections.
Alarcon also said there was difficulty communicating with investigators in the area since cell phone signals were spotty.
The initial investigation showed that the mayor and his supporters were heading back to the municipal hall aboard a dump truck. When the vehicle reached Barangay Malaig, some 20 km from the town, gunmen opened fire on them.
Nine of the fatalities were identified as:
- Johani Mundi Bantuas, 20
- Bebe Dimasangkay, 16
- Lala Diamran
- Pita Saripada, 17
- Baubi Kawasa, 20
- Nani Manamparan, 30
- Leonor Mamantoc, 17
- Saidon Mamantoc, 48
- Agka Nobaisa
Those wounded were:
- Iman Manamparan, 18
- Semi Muda, 18
- Mira Labi, 17
- Nauman Ali, 16
- Wilfredo Viga, 45
- Asisa Labi, 15
- Nubaila Ansur, 18
- PO1 Frenil Lagoting
- Mayor Abdul Malik Manamparan
The names of three other fatalities were not immediately available. — with a report from Andrei Medina/DVM/KG/VVP/RSJ, GMA News