Spate of killings alarm Carmen, NoCot villagers

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DAVAO CITY (May 26) — AT least four leaders  were killed in a span of three days. a situation which alarmed villagers in   the  municipality of Carmen, North Cotabato.

Taher Solaiman,  a peace advocate said the spate of killings triggered fear and anxiety among residents “Nakakabahala na, marami na ang natatakot.”

Solaiman, the voice of Muslim Filipinos in the community,  urged “Authorities, be it in the Philippine government or in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation on the spate of killings in Carmen, North Cotabato and elsewhere, for that matter. ”

Solaiman said last  Wednesday, May 23,  a husband and wife were killed in Barangay Kibayao, Carmen North Cotabato.

The following day, May 24,   Ali Galay, a   Muslim leader  was gunned down  in Carmen Public Market,  North Cotabato.

Galay was killed in  broad daylight,  in  an open space which is  just a stone’s throw away from the buildings of Carmen Municipal hall and Carmen Police Station

Solaiman said Galay was   the  Brigade Commander, under the National Guard Division of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).”

Last Friday, May 25,  an unidentified man was killed in Barangay General Luna. 

“Let us not dismiss it as just a part of another rido (clan feud) as some people would like us to believe. Yes, the dead can no more cry for justice but we, the living, must do. We call on our people — the Moro, the Christians and the Lumad — to be extra vigilant lest we fall prey to those who want us disunited.
We reiterate, everyone deserves justice. So, LET THERE BE JUSTICE!” Solaiman said in his facebook post.

Solaiman said the killings could be politically inspired,  but he suspects drugs is also one of the angles that police should look into.

“Galay supported the winning candidate in his village, he  was riding on a mororbike owned by the village chief he supported during the May 14 elections, when he was gunned down,” Solaiman revealed.

In areas where killings happened, drug activities is observed, he said.

Carmen Police Station Commander Police Chief Inspector Julius Malcontento  said  Galay, a resident of Barangay Kibayao,  sustained multiple gunshot wounds on his chest. He was pronounced dead-on-arrival at a nearby hospital.

The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) retrieved at least 6 empty shells of .45 caliber pistol from the crime scene.

Malcontento  revealed “Galay was aboard his motorbike when the still unknown gunmen shot him.“

He  said witnesses disclosed that Galay’s gunmen were tailing him while he was moving around the public market.

North Cotabato PNP spokesperson Bernard Tayong surmised the incidents could have been triggered by “rido” (clan war).

Tayong said  several witnesses have forwarded statements that could help the police solve the crime.

Senior Supt. Maximo Layugan, provincial police director, has directed Carmen town police chief, Chief Insp. Julius Malcontento, to dig deeper into the two shooting incidents that left a couple and a Moro rebel sub-leader dead  in the past two days.-Editha Z. Caduaya/

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