DAVAO CITY: A series of rocket attacks hit the house of Akmad Ampatuan, a former mayor of Datu Salibo town in Maguindanao province, and his son Maroph, the acting mayor of Shariff Aguak town, officials told The Manila Times on Tuesday.
At least one bystander, identified as Ali Dimaludin, was reported injured and rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment. Dimaludin was hit by shrapnel during the explosion.
The father and son tandem, turned their backs against the clan’s patriarch Andal Ampatuan who, along with other family members, is facing multiple charges for murder after being implicated in the massacre of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers in Maguindanao in 2009.
Officials said the rockets exploded at the back of the house of Akmad. Investigators are looking into the political angle as both Akmad and Maroph ran in the previous election against the candidates fielded by Andal.
Officials, citing intelligence reports, tagged Tamano Mamalapat, a former rebel commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which signed a peace accord with Manila last year.
Just last month, gunmen also ambushed Akmad’s convoy, wounding him and two of his bodyguards in Guindulungan town, also in Maguindanao.
Ampatuan’s convoy was heading to Shariff Aguak, the Ampatuan’s stronghold, when gunmen attacked the politician’s vehicle.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Maguindanao has been the center of violence in recent months following a spate of gun attacks and killings perpetrated by rebels and armed groups actively operating in the troubled province.
Also in December, an unidentified assailant also fired a rifle grenade on the mansion of Shariff Aguak Mayor Zahara Upam Ampatuan, who was recently implicated in the massacre. Zahara has denied the charges against her, but has gone into hiding because of threats to her life.
The attack on Zahara’s mansion caused little damage as the grenade exploded on the sprawling compound. in Maguindanao