A mayor of a town in Maguindanao and four others survived an ambush in Barangay Pandan, South Upi town in the province on Sunday afternoon.
Mayor Reynalbert Insular of South Upi was with members of the South Upi Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) heading back to town when their convoy were fired at by still unidentified men at around 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The members of the MDRRMC, including a councilor who was not identified, were injured.
Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, 6th Infantry Division commander, said soldiers from the 57th Infantry Battalion rescued the victims and rushed them to a government hospital in Cotabato City.
“Those injured are now undergoing medication at a government hospital in Cotabato City, some 60 kilometers away from South Upi,” Uy said.
The mayor and his companions were coming back from a relief mission for families in Barangay Itaw who were displaced by the armed conflict in the province.
Attack helicopters from the Army chased the armed men responsible for the ambush, and launched rockets and fired machineguns at them.
The mayor went to Barangay Itaw to provide relief to residents there who fled their homes on New Year’s Day when gunmen shot at their houses, Uy said.
While Uy did not identify the suspected armed men, the notorious Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF is known to operate in Maguindanao. SOVEREIGNPH