Police still clueless on North Cotabato ambush
John Unson (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2015 - 1:40am

NORTH COTABATO, Philippines - Investigators are still facing a blank wall on Thursday’s fatal ambush of a barangay chairman and his bodyguard in a secluded district in Pikit, North Cotabato.

Senior Inspector Sindatu Karim, chief of the Pikit municipal police, on Saturday said there is a possibility that an old grudge may have led to the murder of Dhatz Simon, chairman of Barangay Bulol, and his security escort, Akmad Bantas

Simon and Bantas, both ethnic Maguindanaons, are related to each other by blood.

“We are also not discounting the possibility that the slain barangay chairman and his ambushers were locked in a rido (clan war) triggered either by a land dispute or political rivalry,” Karim said.

The victims were riding a motorcycle together on their way home from the town proper of Pikit when their attackers, positioned along the road, flagged them down and opened fire with assault rifles.

Relatives told reporters that Simon had earlier asked the local police and military units in Pikit to allow him carry firearm whenever he goes around the municipality due to threats to his life.

Karim said the ambushers took with them the handguns of the victims as they escaped after sensing that responding barangay officials and community watchmen from nearby areas were closing in.

AKMAD BANTAS BARANGAY BARANGAY BULOL DHATZ SIMON KARIM MAGUINDANAONS NBSP NORTH COTABATO PIKIT SENIOR INSPECTOR SINDATU KARIM SIMON AND BANTAS
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