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Officials condemn election-related killings in Bangsamoro region

COTABATO CITY — Regional officials on Thursday condemned the election-related killings in Cotabato City and in nearby Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur and vowed to cooperate in putting closure to each of the deadly incidents.

Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, told reporters via Viber message Thursday that criminal cases had been filed against the detained 12 suspects in a gun attack that killed two aspirants for elective barangay posts in two areas in Cotabato and a companion.

“We are doing our best to solve that atrocity, a deplorable offense,” Nobleza said.

Nur-Moqtadir Butucan, Alfar Ayunan and Faisal Abas were setting up campaign posters on Monday night along Sousa Extension in Barangay Rosary Heights 12 in Cotabato when they were attacked by gunmen, killing all three of them instantly.

The slain Butucan and Ayunan were candidates for barangay councilor in Kalanganan 2 and in Rosary Heights 12 in Cotabato, respectively.

Bangsamoro Local Government Naguib Sinarimbo on Thursday commended the Cotabato City Police Office and the Philippine Navy’s 5th Marine Battalion for the prompt arrest of the 12 men tagged in the attack, for many residents here a premeditated offense.

Among the 12 suspects now clamped down in a detention facility of the Cotabato CPO are Juhalidin Abdul, who is a candidate for chairman of Barangay Rosary Heights 12, and a member of the Philippine National Police, Master Sgt. Pauti Mamalapat.

“We condemn that senseless, barbaric act. The culprits must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of law,” Sinarimbo, spokesperson of the Bangsamoro regional government, told reporters Thursday.

Sinarimbo said the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, is also supporting the efforts of PRO-BAR to arrest the armed men responsible for the fatal ambush on Wednesday morning of Kamar Bansil, candidate for chairman of Barangay Sigayan in Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur.

The attack left Bansil’s wife, Jasmin, and son Manmo, badly wounded.

Col. Robert Daculan, Lanao del Sur police director, said that the three of them were together in a white multicab utility