COTABATO CITY - A village chairman and three others were killed in a shooting incident in Barangay Datu Balabaran, Cotabato City Tuesday, the first such incident reported here while Mindanao is under martial rule.
Two victims died on the spot, while two others were rushed to the hospital but were later declared dead due to wounds they sustained from high-caliber firearms.
Those who died instantly were Tamontaka 1 Barangay Chairman Mokamad Pasawilan and his brother Unting Pasawilan, a village councilor.
The two others who died in the hospital were Pasawilan's nephews Johnny and Anday Manisi.
According to witnesses, the victims were just sitting outside the village chairman's residence when they were shot by still unidentified perpetrators.
Mokamad's wife Bai Sittie Pasawilan said she was inside their house just meters away from the crime scene when she saw the armed men on board a pick up truck and a van alight the vehicles and walk towards the victims.
She even saw the person who shot her husband and described him to be tall, has fair complexion and was wearing a mask to hide his face.
The suspect even pointed the gun towards her while walking away from the crime scene, but she ran inside the house and hid with her son and relatives.
As of posting, police are still conducting an investigation on the relatives and possible witnesses in the said incident.
This is the first shooting incident recorded in Cotabato City since President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, when clashes between government troops and terror groups erupted in Marawi City.
The Cotabato City Police Office had recorded zero crime in the city since the proclamation and noted the drastic fall in crime volume amid the implementation of martial rule.