Mayor Mohamad Exchan Limbona of Pantar, Lanao del Norte was killed while his two police escorts were wounded after they were ambushed by a group of unidentified gunmen in a suburban village in Iligan City on Thursday night.
The mayor’s wife Geneva and daughter Aiza who were with him on board a black Ford Everest were unhurt when the gunmen attacked them about 9:45 p.m. in Sitio Paitan in Barangay Dalipuga.
A police report said Limbona, 52, died while being treated for multiple gunshot wounds in a hospital where he was brought after the ambush.
The mayor’s wounded police escorts were identified as Police Officer 1 Russel Jay Paltingca and PO1 Saidamen Haji Naim.
Based on initial findings of responding policemen, the gunmen who fired at the left side of Limbona’s vehicle could be on board another vehicle.
The police report cited at least two possible motives for the attack.
The attack, according to the report, could be political since the mayoral seat was hotly contested in the May 2016 elections or it could be a family feud or rido (clanwar).
It said scene of the crime operatives were working at the crime scene at this writing while checkpoints were set up as part of police efforts to arrest the gunmen.
In July 2008, the town’s vice mayor, Abdul Onos, was also killed by unidentified gunmen outside a bakery owned by one of his children in Pantar town.
Onos was killed before he could assume as mayor after the Commission on Elections disqualified Limbona based on a protest filed against him.
WITH REPORT FROM AL JACINTO