NOCOT GUV CONDEMNS ATTEMPT VS. MAYOR’S LIFE
North Cotabato provincial capitol building (Photo courtesy of North Cotabato PIO)
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza on Tuesday condemned the assassination attempt Monday against Libungan town Mayor Christopher Cuan inside the town hall premises.
“The Provincial Government of North Cotabato expresses deep concern and condemns this act of violence in the strongest possible terms,” Mendoza said in a statement.
She said the attempt still happened “despite the earnest efforts of the provincial government for a peaceful and orderly Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite come January 21, 2019, in the province of North Cotabato.”
“We urge our law enforcers to take the necessary measures to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators,” Mendoza said.
Latest police investigation revealed that unidentified gunman opened fire on Cuan, also known as “Mayor Amping” at about 1:20 p.m. while he was walking along the lobby of the one-storey Libungan town hall.
The gunman, using a sniper rifle while aboard a parked white van outside the town hall premises, missed the mayor but hit a utility worker, who was near the town executive.
Senior Insp. Orphie Julian, Libungan town police chief, identified the injured janitor as Alejandro Catulong, 53, of Barangay Kabpangi, who sustained a bullet wound in the shoulder.
“The mayor was about to board his Toyota Fortuner vehicle when gunfire was heard some 50 meters away from outside the town hall area,” Julian said.
The bullet instead hit Catulong who was some 15 meters away from the mayor, he added. Witnesses said that the white van sped off after the incident.
“The same witnesses attested that the gunfire came from inside the van vehicle,” Julian said.
Cuan was among the 23 local executives publicly named by President Rodrigo Duterte as narco-politicians.
The mayor denied allegations of involvement in illegal drugs.
A police raid at the house of Cuan in 2016 yielded negative results for illegal drugs.