Lanao del Sur gov undergoes minor surgery after gun attack
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. is now recuperating in a hospital here after undergoing minor surgery on Friday night, hours after a bullet pierced through his right lower hip in an ambush in Maguing town.
Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Adiong said the surgery was intended to remove a slug from the governor’s lower abdomen.
Rep. Adiong added that his older brother is now out of danger and even asked for breakfast upon waking up on Saturday morning (February 18).
While Adiong cheated death, three of his security aides who are police officers, and a driver died. A soldier, Pfc. Gilbert Mananguite, who is also the governor’s security detail, and another staff at the provincial capitol, Ali Tibao, were injured.
Those killed are Adiong’s relatives. They are Staff Sgt. Mohamad Jurais Adiong, Cpl. Johaine Sumandar, Pat. Jalil Cosain, and Hasanor Pundaodaya.
“We implore the authorities to act with urgency and utilize all legal means available to pursue and bring the perpetrators to justice. This condemnable act must not be taken lightly,” Rep. Adiong said in a statement.
Vice President Sara Duterte condemned the ambush.
“As a nation, we should collectively reject this cowardly act of violence and demand that the perpetrators are immediately brought to justice. I commiserate with the bereaved families of the four security escorts of Gov. Adiong who died in the ambush,” she said in a statement on Saturday.
Gov. Adiong is vice president for the Bangsamoro region of the Lakas-CMD party which Duterte chairs.
Bangsamoro Interior Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said there are a number of armed groups that are being monitored in the area where the ambush took place such as the New People’s Army, and one of them could likely be responsible.
Sinarimbo added that the local members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has shared information about who could have perpetrated the attack and this will be among the inputs to the formal investigation of the incident. The ambush took place less than two kilometers from an MILF camp.
On Saturday, Butig, Lanao del Sur Mayor Dimnatang Pansar, president of the League of Municipalities in the province, called for a speedy investigation to identify the attackers and their motive.
“We call on the families of the perpetrators to show their sincerity in the call for justice by surrendering to the authorities their relatives involved in this dastardly act,” Pansar said.
Adiong was in the third of a seven-vehicle convoy led by a police car from Marawi City to Wao town, in the border with Bukidnon province, when they were sprayed with bullets in Barangay Dilimbayan of Maguing town at around 3 p.m.
Although its tires were busted by bullets, Adiong’s vehicle managed to flee the scene of gunfires.
Rep. Adiong said the governor’s aides then hailed a passing vehicle for help in bringing him to the municipal hall of nearby Amai Manabilang town. From there, he was taken to a hospital in Kalilangan, Bukidnon, and then to Cagayan de Oro City.
A police hot pursuit operation ensued in Maguing after the ambush that resulted in the killing of an armed man believed to be among those who attacked Adiong’s convoy, said Police Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon, Bangsamoro police director.
Guyguyon added that a caliber .45 pistol was recovered from the still unidentified man.
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