Killings of his political leaders alarm LP mayoral bet in Zambo Sur (

  Pulacan Falls, Labangan, Zambo Sur

LABANGAN, Zamboanga del Sur — Liberal Party (LP) mayoral bet in this town has expressed alarm over the series of killings of their local political leaders, the latest of which was on Maundy Thursday.

LP’s Wilson Nandang said on Saturday that since he filed his certificate of candidacy last November, four of his political leaders were killed and one was arrested for alleged illegal possession of ammunition.

Last Thursday, Habib Andi Maulana was shot dead while driving his motorcycle, with his wife and their child on the backseat, in Baranagay Tiguma in Labangan town.

Initial police investigation showed that motorcycle-riding armed men suddenly cut Maulana’s way on the national highway near the Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT) and shot him in the head.

The police later recovered an empty shell of a caliber-.45 pistol at the crime scene.

The crime happened while members of the families of earlier murder victims were still mourning. Those who had been murdered were a woman leader who was shot in front of Gaisano supermarket, another was shot at the back of Pagadian City hall, one at the IBT, and yet another in Barangay Bagalupa.

Local police were still facing a blank wall in all these killings, Nandang said.

For his part, LP’s provincial chairman and candidate Roy Largo Ariosa said that the number of their political leaders in the province of Zambaoanga del Sur who have been killed now hits 12.

The list of those killed includes four political leaders in Labangan town, which gets the highest number of deaths. Second, is the municipality of Aurora with three killed and one wounded; followed by two in Molave town, one in Tambulig, one in Barangay Mitokong in Dumalinao town and one in Kumalarang town.

“We need cooperation and unity among our people to stop the [killings] and corruption of our political system in our province," Ariosa said.

He added that the provincial police office must be made to account for the killings.

Also, First District congressional candidate Romeo Boyet Vera Cruz said that Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial director Supt Ramon Ochotorena should answer why he did not lift a single finger to address the recent killings of political leaders in the province, especially Labangan.

Ariosa cited that initial police investigation on the killings pointed out “family feud" as motives.

“It is very clear that the PNP just wanted to wash hands of their responsibility according to their statements, the pattern of the shooting incidents is eminently points to a political killing," Ariosa added.

GMAnews.TV on Saturday repeatedly tried but failed to contact Supt. Ochotorena for his comments.


Some of LP political leaders killed in the province (including Pagadian City) since the campaigns for the May elections started are:

* Joel Aotida, former Barangay Captain and incumbent Councilor of Barangay Cabgan in Tambulig town.

*Jay Durangparang, 32, of Barangay Poblacion, Purok Kalubi, Aurora town (killed March 9).

* Edilaberto Monticillo, 42, a resident of Barangay Bemposa in Aurora.

Durangparang was allegedly shot by a member of Aurora town police, and that the case was filed against five PNP personnel including their chief of police, Inspector Gerard Pilapil Aranas.— Ric Clet/LBG, GMANews.TV
Pawikan eggs in Bulanit, Labangan, Zambo Sur due to their clean and undisturbed shorelines
 Home to the one of the Philippines' highest percentage of 
mangrove survival


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