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Governor calls for calm after Maguindanao mayor's death in police op

The late Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom was known for using pink as his "trademark", with the town hall and a mosque in Datu Saudi Ampatuan painted in that color. Unson, file
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines -- Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu on Monday urged supporters of slain mayor Samsudin Dimaukom to remain calm as they wait for the official police report on his death in an alleged shootout with police.
The Datu Saudi Ampatuan town mayor, whom President Rodrigo Duterte earlier tagged a “narco-politician”, and his nine companions were killed Friday in Barangay Old Bulatukan in Makilala, North Cotabato by anti-narcotics agents in an shootout after they reportedly refused to have their vehicles searched for drugs.
Mangudadatu, presiding chairman of Maguindanao’s inter-agency provincial peace and order council (PPOC), urged Dimaukom's constituents and supporters to refrain from speculating on the incident.
He said they should wait for the final and official report from the Philippine National Police.
“We should avoid fomenting animosity towards the PNP amid talks spreading ... [that Dimaukom and his companions] were intentionally killed by policemen. We should talk and react based on reason, not based on emotion,” Mangudadatu said.
Mangudadatu on Monday denied having announced to the media his official position on the incident as reported last Sunday. 
“I myself have not issued any statement yet on that because I am yet to read the final and official report of the PNP regarding the incident,” Mangudadatu said.
He said the alleged firefight between Dimaukom’s group and police anti-narcotics operatives happened in North Cotabato, which is a separate province outside his political and administrative jurisdiction.
“As chairman of the PPOC I cannot issue any statement just like that without consulting first, without building consensus first, with all members of this multi-sectoral peace and order council,” Mangudadatu said.
He said he is optimistic the official report of the PNP on the incident will clarify what really happened.
“And there is a proper forum if relatives of the late Mayor Dimaukom are not content (with police findings). If they feel they are aggrieved, then there is the court, a venue for good arbitration,” Mangudadatu said.
He cautioned people against using social media to air their emotions and speculations over the incident.
“This can only unduly fan confusion among people keenly observing developments in the case,” Mangudadatu said.  
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