• Marawi folk slam ‘drug lord’ tag

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    COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Relatives of a slain Marawi City community leader are still grieving over his death in the hands of unidentified men more than three months ago.

    Relatives and neighbors of Otical Awar in the province of Lanao del Sur denied allegations he was a drug trafficker and that his brutal murder last December 2015 could be an offshoot of his alleged illegal activities.

    “He was never a drug dealer as insinuated by certain groups, including some people in the government. He was, in fact, cooperative with efforts to get rid of illegal drugs in his community,” a close relative said.

    Some friends are speculating that his murder could be politically-motivated, owing to his influence over thousands of voters in Marawi City.

    Awar was shot dead in by unidentified gunmen that until now police are still in the dark as to the perpetrators of the crime.

    A neighbor of Awar said they were saddened by assertions that he was involved in trafficking of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) when he was still alive.

    Awar was known among friends and relatives as a generous person who shared food with them during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

    “There was nothing wrong with him. He was friendly to both Muslims and Christians. His death was saddening. Until now, we are grieving over his demise,” said a cousin of Awar.

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