Tag Archive: Cotabato City


Two persons were killed and six others, including a barangay chairman, were injured in an ambush in Cotabato City on Wednesday morning, police said.

Killed were Brgy. Rosary Heights 5 chairman Amil Sula’s 18-year-old niece Sherasmine Salik Abdullah and the van’s driver, Paik Sultan, Cotabato City Police deputy chief for operations Supt. Marlou Martinez said.

Sula, his wife Jenna, aunt Baikan Salik Abdullah, Muslima Mita Salik, Taya Macalnas, all suffered bullet wounds to the different parts of the body.

The barangay chairman’s 7-year-old daughter is in critical condition, Martinez, who is also the city police’s spokesman, said in a phone interview.

A distant cousin of Sula, identified as Bai Jasmine Abdullah, and a 12-year-old relative survived the attack unscathed.

Sula, his family, and relatives were travelling along Don Rabago st., Brgy. Rosary Heights 4, on a Toyota Hi-Ace van (BEL-263) around 7:15 a.m. when an undetermined number of armed men fired upon their vehicle.

Within city proper naman ‘yun although hindi ‘yun masyadong dinadaanan, dun sila tinambangan sa may sementeryo… binakbakan sila hanggang sa napahinto sila dun malapit sa DPWH building,” Martinez said.

The attackers used high-powered firearms and “many” empty cartridges of different calibers were found at the scene, he said.

Police conducted checkpoints in different parts of the city after the incident, but the operations have so far yielded negative results, Martinez said.

Sa ngayon, ang intelligence operatives natin ay naka-deploy lahat, naghahanap tayo ng information, bini-beef up din ‘yung mobile patrolling natin,” he said.

Investigators have yet to determine the motive for the attack, but are not discounting the possibility that it was politically-motivated, according to the police official.

“Open pa ‘yun (political angle), lahat ng anggulo, kakausapin muna natin si kapitan, para malaman natin kung anong motive, sa ngayon lahat open pa,” Martinez said. (John Roson)

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Dentist nabbed in Cotabato drug bust

Authorities arrested a dentist and three other people after they were caught sniffing shabu inside a drug den in Cotabato City.

Dr. Rainier Masukat, a rural health dentist; Marvin Sinsuat, 40; Rosello Paches, 33; and Von Lluna, 24, were arrested inside the drug den in Brgy. Bagua 3 on Monday, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Arturo Cacdac said.

The illegal facility was discovered after members of the PDEA-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao conducted an entrapment operation against a suspected drug pusher, Cacdac said.

An undercover PDEA agent pretended to buy shabu from “watch-listed” pusher Ricky Cimafranca at the latter’s home, but the target managed to escape after handing over the illegal drug, Cacdac said.

A hot pursuit ensued, prompting other operatives to enter Cimafranca’s house where Masukat and the others were having a “pot session,” he said.

Masukat, Sinsuat, Paches, and Lluna will be charged for visiting the drug den. Cimafranca will be charged for selling dangerous drugs and maintaining a drug den, Cacdac said. (John Roson)

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2 men gunned down in Cotabato City

Two men were found dead in Cotabato City on Sunday night after being shot by still unidentified assailants, police said.

Supt. Marlou Martinez, operations chief of the city police, identified the two as Jeper Velasco Ayunan and Fahad Utto Ambolodto, both 28 years old and residents of Brgy. Rosary Heights 3.

Both suffered multiple bullet wounds on the different parts of the body, Martinez told Bandera.

Ayunan was shot around 11:50 p.m. while riding his motorcycle at the corner of Quezon ave. and N.D. ave., Brgy. Poblacion 5. Police found at the scene several empty shells from caliber-.45 and caliber-.9mm pistols.

Ambolodto was shot around the same time and was found along Clemente A. Alino st., Brgy. Poblacion 2, with a Taurus caliber-.9mm pistol at his side, Martinez said.

Investigators have yet to determine the assailants’ identities or if the two killings are related. (John Roson)

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Armed men shot dead a former barangay (village) chairman in Cotabato City, Tuesday night, police said.

Antonio Mendoza, a resident and former chairman of Brgy. Poblacion 3, succumbed to a bullet wound to the head, Supt. Marlou Martinez, Cotabato City Police deputy director for operations, said.

The incident occurred around 6:05 p.m. while Mendoza and his wife were riding a motorcycle along Demazenod st. in the barangay.

Two men on another motorcycle tailed Mendoza and one of them opened fire upon reaching reaching his side, Martinez said in a phone interview.

Mendoza, 42, expired while he was being brought to the Notre Dame Hospital. His wife was unhurt.

Martinez, also the city police’s spokesman, said investigators have yet to determine the motive for the killing.

It was not yet known if Mendoza has plans to run in next year’s elections, the police official said. (John Roson)

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Two persons were reported killed while eight others remain missing as tropical storm “Ofel” (international name: Son-Tinh) slammed into several provinces in central Philippines and Metro Manila on Thursday, authorities said.

Ruben Tabura, 66, died after being buried in a landslide while fetching water from a river in Brgy. Jaclupan, Talisay City, around 3:30 p.m., Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, Cebu Provincial Police director, said in a text message.

A certain Sophia Recto reportedly died of hypothermia in Marinduque, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Among the missing are fisherman Jonrey Acaso, 28, who set to sea from Pintuyan, Southern Leyte, on Monday and Jonny Ocson, 8, who went swimming at a beach in Odiongan, Romblon, on Wednesday.

Also missing are Muhammad Kanape Guiamad, 11, who went swimming at the Tamontaka River in Cotabato City, and Rigel Saycon, 18, of Dumanjug, Cebu, and two other persons in General Santos City, the NDRRMC said.

Still not included in the NDRRMC’s list are fishermen Christopher Maranan, 24, and Eric Presto, 15, both residents of Brgy. Cuta, Batangas City. The two were last seen 3 a.m. Thursday, according to the Batangas Provincial Police.

In its 5 p.m. report, the disaster agency said nine people, including three whose boat capsized near Tacloban City, Leyte, were still missing.

But Senior Supt. Romulo Cleve Taboso, Tacloban City police director, said the three, identified as Clemente Umban Sr., 50; Ariel Posto, 23; and Olavit Posto, 12, have been able to return home.

The three took shelter on Dio Island and were confirmed to be back at their homes in Sitio Costa Brava, Brgy. San Jose, Thursday morning, Taboso said in a text message.

Southern Luzon, Visayas bear brunt

On Thursday, strong winds and rains brought by “Ofel” hit Quezon, Batangas, Masbate, Romblon, Marindue, Mindoro Island, Pnay Island, and Cebu, after the storm passed through Mindanao and Eastern Visayas.

The town of Bantayan experienced big waves while Tudela reported a power outage and Talisay City, the landslide, Comendador said.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama ordered the suspension of classes at all levels in the city, according to the NDRRMC.

In Masbate, strong winds and waves destroyed three houses in Dimasalang and six fishing boats in Placer, Supt. Jeffrey Fernandez, deputy provincial police director, said.

Quezon experienced “continuous” rain but no storm-related incidents have been reported as of Thursday afternoon, provincial police director Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon said.

Earlier, the NDRRMC reported that 296 families or 957 people in Maasin City and St. Bernard of Southern Leyte, as well as Palo, Burauen, and La Paz of Leyte fled their homes due to floods.

Landslides occurred in Bontoc, Southern Leyte, affecting roads and bridges, according to local police.

Floods occurred in Brgys. Lagao and Baluan of General Santos City, prompting at least seven families to evacuate, the NDRRMC said.

Metro Manila hit too

Rains also hit Metro Manila from early morning Thursday up to the evening, causing floods in several roads, according to police.

Gutter-deep floods occurred along Sipac st., Almacen, and M. Naval in Navotas City; Nascano st. of Brgy. Tugatog, Malabon City; Pasong Tamo and Pasong Tirad sts. of Makati City, but all remain passable to vehicles, the National Capital Region Police Office reported.

No other storm-related incident has been reported so far in the metropolis.

16,000 stranded in ports, 20 flights cancelled

Some 16,473 people remain stranded Thursday in ports in Cebu City, Tagbilaran City, Dumaguete City, Matnog and Pilar of Sorsogon, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Caticlan of Aklan, Roxas City of Capiz, Batangas, and Mannila, according to the Coast Guard.

Sea travel is still suspended to prevent maritime disasters, according to the agency.

Thousands of airline passengers are also stranded as more than 20 flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have been cancelled. (John Roson)

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Cotabato City Vice Mayor Muslimin Sema was hurt in an ambush by armed men Tuesday morning, police said.

Sema was brought to the Notre Dame Hospital and is now safe, Supt. Resty Damaso, Central Mindanao regional police spokesman, said.

A suspect initially identified as Zermin Abdullah, 48, was also wounded as Sema’s bodygurds fought back. He was brought to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center.

The incident occurred aroung 11:20 a.m. along Gonzalo Javier st., Brgy. Rosary Heights 7. (John Roson)

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An improvised explosive device went off at the Cotabato City plaza Saturday night while a band contest was being held, but no one was injured, police officials said.

Director Felicisimo Khu, head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said the explosion occurred around 9:10 p.m. at the back of the plaza’s stage.

The IED, made of a 60-millimeter ammunition, was placed inside the comfort room, Khu said.

It exploded while the contest, called “Band Digmaan,” was being held, Senior Senior Supt. Roberto Badian, Cotabato City Police director, said.

“Sa comfort room sumabog at matagal nang walang ilaw dun,” Badian added. (John Roson)

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Kidnapped gold appraiser found dead

The Manila-based gold and antique appraiser kidnapped by armed men in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, was found dead Friday afternoon, police said.

Dominador Berdin, 52, was was found floating along the portion of the Tamontaka River in Brgy. Kalanganan 2, Cotabato City, around 2:10 p.m., Chief Supt. Bienvenido Latag, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police director, said.

Berdin, based in Mandaluyong City, suffered bullet wounds on his stomach and thigh, Latag said in a text message.

The businessman was taken from the Hillside Resort in Brgy. Awang around 2:50 p.m. Thursday and was brought to Brgy. Capiton, where he was said to have been transferred to a motorized banca.

In a phone interview, Senior Supt. Marcelo Pintac, Maguindanao Provincial Police director, said Berdin was abducted after his transaction with the armed men turned awry.

Berdin and a female financier, also based in Manila, purposely went to Maguindanao to buy gold, Pintac said.

The financier, who Pintac declined to name, was able to escape the ruckus and reported the incident to the authorities.

Two suspects, identified as Norodin Malik Datumanong Andil and Ryan Bewang Usman, were arrested the same day and charged with kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms on Friday.

The suspects were already inquested and currently locked up at the Maguindanao Provincial Jail in Cotabato City, Latag said. (John Roson)

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Another bomb found at ARMM capitol

Government forces in Cotabato City were again told to stay alert as another improvised explosive was found outside the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s capitol on Monday night, the third in just three months’ time.

The bomb, comprised of a 90-millimeter anti-tank explosive, cellphone, 9-volt battery, and an electronic circuit was discovered around 7 p.m. along Guttierez Ave., Dir. Felicisimo Khu, chief of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said in a text message.

A “sikad” driver spotted the explosive and reported it to authorities, who successfully diffused the device using the water disruption method around 7:45 p.m., Khu said.

“The IED was not covered with anything and planted just about 100 meters from the front gate of ARMM Office of the Regional Governor (ORG) complex,” he said.

The site was “very near” to the place where an 81mm IED’s blasting cap went off on September 14, according to the police official.

On August 2, a “twin” 81mm IED’s blasting cap also exploded inside the ORG complex.

Khu said he directed the Cotabato City Police Office to step up “proactive measures” to deter IED bombings.

Cotabato City, though host to the ARMM capitol and often grouped with Maguindanao, is not part of the autonomous region since residents voted against the city’s inclusion during the November 1989 plebiscite. (John Roson)

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ARMM issues eyed in Cotabato City blasts

Authorities are considering political issues of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as among the possible motives for the bombings in Cotabato City on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Another bombing occurred Wednesday morning, just 20 meters from the main gate of the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG), Dir. Felisicimo Khu, head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said.

No one was hurt in the 5:10 a.m. explosion as the blasting cap went off without detonating the main charge, an 81-millimeter mortar ammunition, Khu said in a text message.

“The explosion was loud enough to awaken residents within a 500-meter radius,” Khu said, adding that the improvised explosive was hidden under a parked passenger jeepney.

Police, Marine, and Army personnel cordoned the area, recovered the mortar round with a cellphone still attached, and disarmed it around 6:46 a.m.

“The water disruption procedure was delayed a little as the celphone kept on ringing,” Khu said.

Senior Supt. Roberto Badian, city police director, said investigators are looking at several angles, most of which are related to political affairs of the ARMM.

“Actually nadadamay lang kami kasi dito located ang karamihan sa offices ng ARMM, including the ORG,” he said.

One of the issues, according to the police official, was the national government’s ongoing search for officers-in-charge of the ARMM.

“May disgruntled supporters ‘yung nominees sa pagka-regional governor at vice governor na hindi nakasama doon sa shortlist,” Badian said by phone.

Recently, the government chose 14 people who may be appointed as ARMM governor and vice-governor. The “shortlist” was drawn from a total of 111 nominees and applicants.

A total of 440 applied and were nominated for posts in the Regional Legislative Assembly. Only 24 made it to the shortlist.

Another angle being looked into is the Supreme Court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order against the suspension of the ARMM elections, a move preventing the appointment of the regional “caretakers.”

“Mayroong mga gustong matuloy ‘yung elections, ayaw matuloy ‘yung turnover (sa mga OIC) so napakaraming issue, kaya ngayon vina-validate natin ang mga ito,” Badian said.

The police official, however, said they are not discounting the possibility that Wednesday and Tuesday’s blasts are part of the “prevalent threat” of bombings not only in Cotabato City, but also in other areas of Central Mindanao.

“Mayroong continuous threat ng bombing dito sa Central Mindanao, matagal na ito, ‘yung sa grupo naman ni Basit Usman, vina-validate din namin ito,” Badian said.

Khu said operatives are still looking for three of four bombs that were allegedly brought by the group of Jemaah Islamiyah-linked Usman to Cotabato City on September 3.

The bombers are targeting churches, among others, according to the police official. (John Roson)

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