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Newly-elected Cotabato town barangay kagawad shot dead

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — A newly-elected barangay councilor in Midsayap town in Cotabato province was shot dead by his cousin on Wednesday morning near the building where he was supposed to hold office.

Lt. Col. John Miridel Calinga, chief of the Midsayap municipal police, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the 35-year-old Suharto Mascud Antillino died on the spot from bullet wounds in the head.

Witnesses and relatives of Antillino, elected as kagawad, or councilman in Barangay Poblacion 3 in Midsayap, had confirmed to investigators that his killer was his own cousin, whose name the police withheld meantime while pursuit operations assisted by barangay officials and soldiers from an Army unit in Midsayap are still underway.

Calinga said Antillino, proclaimed kagawad-elect only last Tuesday by municipal personnel of the Commission on Elections, was first approached by the suspect while he was at the premises of their barangay hall and talked to him in the Maguindanaon vernacular.

Witnesses said the duo first had a loud altercation before shots reverberated through the scene.

Calinga, citing accounts of witnesses, said Antillino tried to run away when his cousin pulled out a .45 caliber pistol from his waist while they were shouting invectives at each other.

The suspect repeatedly shot Antillino from behind and immediately escaped amid the commotion triggered by the incident.