MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to speed up its investigation into the ambush of Masiu, Lanao del Sur Mayor Nasser Pangandaman Jr.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the PNP, in coordination with its military counterparts, should exert all efforts to ensure the immediate arrest of the suspects behind the ambush.
“The DILG condemns this atrocity which is a huge affront to the efforts of the government through our law enforcement groups to ensure peace and order in our communities. The PNP, in coordination with its military counterparts, should exert all efforts to arrest the suspects of this dastardly act,” Año said in a statement.
Pangandaman and his convoy were ambushed by unidentified men on Sunday, Nov. 10, while on their way to a council meeting.
The mayor survived the attack but his police escort, Corporal Jabbar Pangandaman was killed while two others were injured.
Following the incident, Año called for intensified security measures from police and the military such as regular foot and mobile patrols and setting up checkpoints.
The DILG chief also said that a manhunt operation has been launched against the suspects.
Investigators are also looking into possible motives behind the ambush, including “rido” or feud between warring clans in Lanao del Sur.
“The PNP is exploring several leads and interviewing witnesses so that we can easily track down the suspects behind this ambush. We assure the Pangandaman family that all hands are on this case,” Año said.
The DILG chief has expressed his condolences to the family of Corporal Pangandaman, and assured them of the government’s assistance.
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