Tag Archive: North Cotabato


Two barangay chairpersons and an escort were killed while two other persons were injured in separate ambuscades in North Cotabato and Masbate on Thursday, police said.

Senior Inspector Sindato Karim, police chief of Pikit, North Cotabato, identified the fatalities in the second incident as Dhats Simon, chairman of Brgy. Bulol, and his aide Akmad Bantas.

Simon and Bantas were riding a motorcycle along the provincial road in Brgy. Gli-gli around 3 p.m., when two men on two incoming motorcycles opened fire at them, Karim said in a text message.

Both gunmen are believed to have used M16 rifles as 25 empty shells for that firearm were found at the crime scene, Karim said.

Simon and Bantas were taken to the Cruzado Medical Clinic and Hospital because of bullet wounds to the different parts of the body, but were declared dead by doctors, he said.

Investigators are still trying to determine the identities of the assailants, who quickly fled after the attack.

The shooting is believed to have stemmed from “personal grudge,” Karim said.

Hours earlier, around 9:40 a.m., a barangay chairwoman was killed and her husband was injured in another ambush in Placer, Masbate.

Killed was Rodilyn Camay, incumbent chairwoman of Brgy. Matagangtang, Placer, Masbate provincial police spokesman Superintendent Eugenio Manondo said.

Camay’s husband Romil, a former chairman of their barangay, was hurt in the attack along with one Giovani Liquigan, helper of a beer delivery truck that the couple passed by.

Rodilyn and Romil were travelling along a road in Brgy. Aguada on a motorcycle, when unidentified men “waylaid” and shot them with caliber-.45 pistols, Manondo said in an emailed report.

Liquigan, who was unloading beer from a truck parked beside the road, was hit by a stray bullet, he said.

Rodilyn and Romil were brought to the Cataingan District Hospital but doctors declared the former dead.

Romil and Liquigan were later transferred to the Masbate Doctors Hospital in Masbate City for further treatment.

Senior Superintendent Prexy Tanggawohn, officer-in-charge of the Masbate provincial police, ordered local lawmen to look into all possible motives for the attack to help speed up the identification of the assailants. (John Roson)

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Four persons were killed while almost 4,000 were affected by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain in four provinces of Central Mindanao, authorities reported Thursday.

Floods and landslides affected 43 barangays in nine towns and two cities of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Sarangani, said Minda Morante, director of the Office of Civil Defense-12.

Tupi town of South Cotabato and Brgy. Rajah Muda of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, declared a state of calamity because of the floods, Morante said in an emailed report.

Couple Nonoy, 74, and Monita Ga, 71, of Brgy. Bunao, Tupi, South Cotabato; Diron Tamarang, 70, of Brgy. Lunen, also in Tupi; and Anita Ochova, 63, of Glan, Sarangani, died in landslides caused by heavy rain, she said.

Five persons, identified as Mercy Magbanua, 27; Kathlyn Magbanua, 1; Jay Argal, 24; Cristy Ochova, 31, and one Jojit Mangisel were injured, she said.

Of the 3,985 individuals affected by floods, 1,798 were evacuated and are currently staying in barangay halls, daycare centers, gymnasiums, and homes of relatives, Morante said.

Most of the evacuees came from Tacurong City and Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; Koronadal City and Tupi, South Cotabato; and Glan, Sarangani.

Floods also left at least four bridges impassable to motorists and caused at least P6.9 million in damage to agriculture, Morante said.

More than 500 hectares of rice fields, more than 80 hectares of cornfields, and at least 7.5 hectares of fishponds were damaged because of the floods, which also left at least 50 farm animals dead or missing, she said.

Heavy rains brought by an intertropical convergence zone hit South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and Sarangani from Tuesday night until Wednesday morning, causing the floods, according to Morante.

Local governments are now providing relief goods to the evacuees and are still monitoring the situation in affected areas, she said. (John Roson)

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About 2,000 residents of Datu Montawal, Maguindanao, have also fled their homes for fear of getting caught in the middle of fighting between members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), authorities said Wednesday.

This, as the ARMM Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (ARMM-HEART) reported more evacuees and several houses were burned in Pagalungan because of the fighting.

A total of 468 families, or roughly 2,300 people, living in Brgy. Talitay, Datu Montawal, have been displaced as of Tuesday afternoon, Jo Henry, information officer at the ARMM-HEART, said by phone.

“Nag-escalate sa kabilang munisipyo… ‘Yung mga naglalaban, parang doon tumakbo, doon naghabulan sa Montawal,” she said.

Datu Montawal is adjacent to Pagalungan — where the clashes occur — as well as Pikit of North Cotabato.

Of the displaced families in Datu Montawal, 416 are now taking shelter in Sitio Pidtulangian, also in Brgy. Talitay, while 52 crossed to Pikit and Kabacan, where they have relatives, Henry said.

Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay, public affairs officer of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the last monitored fighting between MILF and BIFF forces occurred around 12 noon Tuesday in Pagalungan.

The military has not recieved reports of fighting in Datu Montawal, Petinglay said by phone.

Houses burn in ‘no man’s land’

Henry said the fighting in Pagalungan has left at least five houses burned while two barangays are considered as “no man’s land.”

“Ang report sa amin ngayon may limang bahay na ang nasunog sa Sitio Balungis, Brgy. Kalbugan, kung saan nangyari ‘yung bakbakan. ‘Yung bakbakan nagsimula sa Sitio Tatak, also in Kalbugan,” she said.

Members of the ARMM-HEART went to Pagalungan Wednesday to bring relief goods and check on the situation, but were only able visit evacuation centers in the town proper.

“Hindi kami makapasok doon sa looban, doon sa Kalbugan, nasa interior kasi ‘yun, malayo dito sa mga evacuation center… ‘yung Kalbugan saka Buliok dineclare na ‘no man’s land’ ‘nung mga nag-aaway. Wala nang tao ngayon doon,” Henry said.

20,000 flee in Pikit, Pagalungan

Henry said 1,502 families comprised of 9,742 individuals have been displaced in Pagalungan alone.

“Nanawagan ‘yung local government ng Pagalungan ng tulong kasi talagang hirap ang mga tao sa evacuation center. Marami naman nang tumulong, DSWD, UNHCR, at mga non-government organizations pero kailangan kasi masustain,” she said.

Aside from food and water, evacuees are currently in need of tarpaulins that they can use as tents or sleeping mats, Henry said.

The Pagalungan municipal gymnasium, which currently being used as an evacuation center, is already filled up so some evacuees are staying outside with no roof on their heads, she said.

In Pikit, meanwhile, a total of 1,982 families comprised of 10,664 persons have been displaced, Office of Civil Defense-12 director Minda Morante said.

The displaced persons are residents of Brgy. Kabasalan, Raja Muda, Barungis, Buliok, Bulol, and Bagoinged, Morante said in an emailed report. (John Roson)

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More than 8,000 people in North Cotabato and Maguindanao have fled their homes as clashes between members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continued, authorities said Monday.

“The situation is escalating” as there are already evacuations in six barangays of Pikit and these are “continuing,” Cynthia Ortega, head of the North Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said by phone.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, a total of 1,702 families or more than 8,000 people were monitored to have evacuated in Brgys. Barungis, Bagoinged, Buliok, Rajah Muda, Bulol, and Kabasalan, Ortega said.

“‘Di lang sila makabigay ng update doon kasi sige ang evacuation… We can say nag-escalate na ‘yung situation kasi marami nang barangays ang affected,” she said.

About 500 families also evacuated in neighboring Pagalungan, Maguindanao, where the clashes are occurring, according to initial reports recieved by the Office of Civil Defense-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Senior Superintendent Danilo Peralta, North Cotabato provincial police director, said clashes between the MILF and BIFF are “continuing” in Pagalungan and have forced many residents there to evacuate to Pikit.

“Marami sa mga ito ay taga-Pagalungan, tumawid sila dito para makaiwas dun sa bakbakan ng MILF at BIFF doon sa kanila,” Peralta said when contacted by phone during his visit to an evacuation center.

Sounds of the ongoing clashes can sometimes be heard in Pikit, which is just adjacent to Pagalungan, he said.

“Minsan, ‘pag tahimik, nadidinig namin dito ‘yung mga mortar (explosion), mangilan-ngilan,” Peralta said.

The official, however, noted that policemen and soldiers do not interfere in the fighting because it is “internal” to the MILF and BIFF.

Peralta, meanwhile, said authorities in Pikit find no problem in hosting evacuees from Pagalungan and are even handing them relief goods.

“Welcome naman dito ‘yung mga taga-Maguindanao kasi ‘yang Maguindanao dati ring Cotabato ‘yan, nahati lang, so kahit taga-doon ang evacuees, kahit Bangsamoro sila at may Christians kami dito, welcome sila at binibigyan ng pagkain dito,” Peralta said. (John Roson)

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More than 4,000 people fled their homes in two villages of Pikit, North Cotabato, due to alleged sightings of members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) from Mamasapano, Maguindanao, a disaster management official said Friday.

A total of 895 families, or “100 percent,” of residents in Brgy. Kabasalan evacuated their homes while 210 families from Brgy. Barungis also fled, said Cynthia Ortega, head of the North Cotabato Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).

“One hundred percent of the residents sa Kabasalan, nag-evacuate sila sa Brgy. Bulol,” Ortega said by phone.

“May sightings kasi ng BIFF, believed to be coming from Mamasapano ‘yung mga BIFF, parang pumunta sila sa may Pikit, particularly sa Brgy. Kabasalan, so may displacement,” she said.

Mamasapano is where BIFF forces and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas clashed with members of the National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) on January 25.

The clash resulted in the death of 44 members of the elite police unit and 18 MILF guerrillas, while it is unknown if the BIFF also suffered casualties.

To the west of Pikit lies the Liguasan Marsh which, has on its other shore, small villages connected to Mamasapano.

The internally-displaced people are currently staying at a Madrasah (Islamic school), a high school, and relatives’ homes in Brgy. Bulol, Ortega said.

The total number families, 1,105, can be multiplied by four or five to determine the number of displaced individuals, she said.

Ortega said the PDRRMC is currently waiting for the official report on the displacement from the Pikit Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, which will conduct relief operations Saturday.

“Bukas sila (Pikit MDRRMC) magre-relief, kami naman, mag-relief kasi sila bukas, mga three days after. That’s the time for the province to come in, augmentation sa relief nila,” Ortega said. (John Roson)

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The military on Friday denied that fighting erupted between forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Pikit, North Cotabato, on Thursday but said there is “tension” in the area.

“It was [first] thought to be a firefight pero later it was found that it was a burst of gunfire from an unknown group,” Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay, public affairs officer of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said in a text message.

Petinglay was earlier quoted in reports that a firefight between the MILF and BIFF erupted 5:50 p.m. in Brgy. Kabasalan.

The fighting supposedly involved 1,000 members of the 108th, 109th, and 110th base commands of the MILF and BIFF forces led by commander Kagi Karialan.

Karialan’s forces were said to have come from Mamasapano, Maguindanao, where the BIFF and MILF clashed with members of the National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) and killed 44 police commandos on January 25.

Despite Friday’s denial, Petinglay admitted that there is “tension” in Brgy. Kabasalan.

“May tension kasi na ongoing dun sa area at mga two days na,” she said.

Petinglay also maintained that some residents have already evacuated their homes.

“May mga nag-evacuate pero wala pong firefight,” she said. (John Roson)

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At least one person was killed while four others were injured in two separate ambuscades against candidates in Maguindanao and North Cotabato on Saturday, the military said.

Kiang Nasser, a nephew of South Upi mayoralty candidate Mohammad Digo “Datu Baba” Omar Jr., was killed when the latter’s convoy was ambushed along in Km 30 of the road in North Upi, Maguindanao, around 5:30 p.m., Army 6th Infantry Division spokesman Col. Dickson Hermoso said.

Omar’s uncle, Turno Omar, was injured and brought to the Datu Blah Sinsuat Hospital.

Omar, a candidate of PDP-Laban, is one of seven people running for mayor of South Upi. Another candidate is incumbent Mayor Abdullah “Bedz” Campong, who is running under the Liberal Party.

Around 11:50 p.m. the same day, three supporters of Floro Allado, a vice mayoralty candidate in Banisilan, North Cotabato, were injured when armed men ambushed his convoy in Brgy. Wadya.

Allado and his supporters were on their way home from campaigning in Brgy. Gastav, on board his Ford Everest and commando-type owner jeep, when they were fired upon, Hermoso said.

The candidate was not hit, but three of his supporters were wounded and brought to the Wao Hospital in Wao, Lanao del Sur, according to the military official.

Allado is one of four people running for vice mayor in Banisilan. (John Roson)

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Armed men shot dead Vice Mayor Policronio Dulay of Kabacan, North Cotabato, at the town’s public market Friday afternoon, police said.

Dulay was shot in front of a book store at the public market along USM Ave., Brgy. Poblacion, around 3 p.m., Central Mindanao regional police spokesman Senior Insp. Benjamin Mauricio said in a phone interview.

Initial investigation indicated that the two assailants were riding on a motorcycle.

Investigators have yet to determine the assailants’ identities and motive, Mauricio said. (John Roson)

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2 drown, 1 missing in Mindanao floods

Two people drowned while another is still missing as flash floods caused by a low-pressure area (LPA) hit several areas in Western, Central, and Southern Mindanao, authorities said.

Ruel Aling, 22, and Zosito Andamon, 28, drowned when floods hit Sta. Cruz and Digos City, Davao del Sur, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

Authorities are searching for Arjay Javier, who went missing after jumping into a river in Makilala, North Cotabato, which had strong water current caused by heavy rains.

The 17-year-old Javier was reportedly drunk on Sunday afternoon when he jumped into the river and was carried away by the strong current, the NDRRMC said.

Rains brought by the LPA also hit Davao del Sur on Sunday night, causing the Sibulan River in Sta. Cruz to overflow. Waters from the river flooded Brgys. Darong, Sibulan, and Astorga.

Floods also struck 21 barangays in Sultan Kudarat and Buldon, both of Maguindanao, as well as Brgy. Poblacion in Balabagan, Lanao del Sur, the NDRRMC said.

“Waist-deep floods and strong winds occurred in these areas, causing passengers to be stranded for few hours,” NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said.

The latest flooding occurred in Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay, around 4 a.m. Monday.

The continuous heavy rainfall brought by the LPA and Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone caused the water level at the Sibuguey Valley River to rise, according Ramos.

Waters from the swollen river caused floods in Brgys. Poblacion, Balugo, Sta. Barbara, San Jose, La Victoria, Gandiangan, Lumpanac, and Lower Baluran, he said.

Some 250 families from Brgy. Poblacion were evacuated to higher ground and took shelter at a “bagsakan center,” while the affected residents of the other barangays opted to stay with relatives, Ramos said. (John Roson)

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One militiaman was wounded as government troops clashed with members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Kabacan, North Cotabato, early Monday, authorities said.

Soldiers, militiamen, and police clashed with an “armed lawless group” led by a certain commander Kadatuan, in Brgy. Lower Paatan, around 6:30 a.m., Col. Prudencio Asto, spokesman of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Hao, commander of the 7th Infantry Battalion, said he sent 30 soldiers after police sought military assistance over reports that BIFF members were harassing farmers in the area.

“May isang nagko-complain na community because more or less 20 BIFF [members] ay nagsasaka raw ng mga lupa ng may lupa. Because of that sinamahan namin ang police… at around 6 o’clock e binaril ‘yung mga tropa, wala kaming nagawa kundi lumaban,” Hao told reporters.

A militiaman, identified as Romeo Pizarro of the Civilian Active Auxiliary, suffered a bullet wound to the leg during the 15-minute fighting, Senior Supt. Roque Alcantara, North Cotabato Provincial Police director, said.

It was was the first time for security forces to get involved in a clash with the BIFF since the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed their “framework agreement” for peace last week.

Hao and Alcantara said the fighting had nothing to do with the recently-signed agreement, which the BIFF strongly opposes.

The BIFF was formed by Ameril Umbra Kato in 2010 after failing to settle disputes with the MILF leadership. (John Roson)

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