CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Authorities have identified possible suspects in the ambush of Pantao Ragat, Lanao del Norete Mayor Lacson Lantud which claimed the lives of four persons and wounded four others in Barangay Cabasagan of the same town.
Senior Supt. Leopoldo Cabanag, Lanao del Norte provincial police chief, said they already have some names but could not yet divulge the identity of the attackers pending further investigation.
“We already have the names of personalities that we consider as suspects [in the ambush] but we could not yet disclose their identities,” Cabanag said in an interview Tuesday.
Lantud, accompanied by his security escorts, was on his way to inspect the ongoing road and electricity projects in Cabasagan when his two-vehicle convoy was waylaid by a group of armed men on Sunday morning.
Killed were Khalic Disamburon, a village official, Hasanoding Hasim, a former policeman; PO2 Mahid Macalaba, and Tarapas Saro.
Injured were PO1 Hamza Mangonte, PO1 Mahid Macalaba, Farmon Macarimbang, Casanuding Hasim, and Acmad Magomnang, Pantao Ragat town councilor.
In its initial findings, the provincial police said the ambush could be due to “rido” or clan feud, but Cabanag said they are not discounting other angles.
Cabanag said they have also created the special investigation task group Pantao Ragat to focus on the incident.
To date, investigators are in the process of interviewing the survivors.
“We would like to listen to their account hoping that they can identify the perpetrators,” Cabanag said.
It was possible, he said, that someone or a group of individuals have been planning on killing Lantud for a long time.
“They may have been holding a grudge for quite some time now. They might have been planning on carrying out the ambush last barangay election, but failed to implement it due to the deployment of security forces in the area,” he said.
The May 20 ambush was the third to occur in Pantao Ragat; the first was in 2004 and then in 2009. (davaotoday.com)