Maguindanao cops hunting down killers of town vice mayor
By Noel Y. Punzalan and Edwin O. Fernandez
COTABATO CITY, Nov. 27 (PNA) — Policemen here are hunting down three men who shot dead the newly installed vice mayor of a controversial “pink town” of Maguindanao Sunday morning.
Senior Inspector Rasul Pandulo, Maguindanao police spokesperson, identified the slain vice mayor as Anwar Sindatuk, 52, who assumed office only last month.
Pandulo said Sindatuk was entertaining about three to four persons inside his residential compound in Barangay Madia at about 8 a.m. Sunday when the incident happened.
Witnesses said the official personally knew the suspects.
Quoting the officials’ relatives, police said while a conversation over cups of coffee was ongoing, one of the visitors pulled a caliber .45 pistol and shot Sindatuk repeatedly at close range. He died on the spot.
The gunmen quickly fled on board motorcycles.
Relatives said they know the suspects but opted not to reveal their identities to authorities.
Police eye clan war or “rido” (family feud) as the motive in Sindatuk’s murder.
Sindatuk, elected as the No. 1 town councilor in last May’s local elections, was installed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government after elected Vice Mayor Anida Dimaukom took the post of her husband, Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom, who was killed along with nine others during police law enforcement operations in Makilala, North Cotabato on Oct. 28.
Mayor Dimaukom and his wife Anida were named earlier by President Rodrigo Duterte as among the “narco-politicians” in Maguindanao. Both denied the allegations.
Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom earned the moniker “pink mayor” of a “pink town” named after the son of former Maguindanao strongman Andal Ampatuan Sr.
At the time of his death, Dimaukom was in the thick of completing a huge “Pink mosque” built beside the town hall and his residence, also colored pink.
Vice Mayor Sindatuk was laid to rest at 3 p.m. Sunday in accordance with Islamic rites. (PNA)