CIDG to probe Lanao del Sur killing
SEEKING FOR JUSTICE Al Rashid Macapodi, who ran for mayor in the town of
Malabang, Lanao del Sur during the last elections, answers questions from the media after he asked the PNP-CIDG
to investigate the spate of violence that resulted to the killing of three people and injuring three others which,
according to him, are election related. He submitted videos and other evidence at the office of the CIDG in Camp
Crame in Quezon City on Friday, July 22, 2022. PHOTO BY JOHN ORVEN VERDOTE
THE leadership of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) said it will conduct a « parallel investigation » on the killing of three individuals who were said to be supporters of two local mayoral candidates. They were killed at the height of the May 9 elections in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
« The CIDG will conduct a parallel investigation based on the formal complaints of the victims and their families, » said CIDG director BGen. Eliseo Cruz in a text message to The Manila Times on Friday afternoon.
The PNP-CIDG’s assurance came as Malabang town and PDP-Lakas ng Bayan mayoral candidate Al Rashid Macapodi personally lodged a complaint at the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City on Friday morning, asking for the assistance of the PNP to shed light into the said killing.
In a press conference, Macapodi disclosed that he sought police assistance as the Malabang Municipal Police Station refused to cooperate.
He also revealed that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has denied his petition to declare a failure of elections in May due to the said shooting.
Macapodi also stressed the killing of his supporters happened at the height of what he believed as his « strong campaign » against his rival and the incumbent Mayor Dagar Balindong of Lakas-CMD.
It can be recalled that among the victims who were shot inside a voting center of Malabang National High School in a gun fight were his relatives Ambol Macapodi and Ansano Paramata. The third fatality, meanwhile, was the brother of Balindong.
The Lanao del Sur provincial police said they are still looking into the circumstances leading to the shooting and pursuing the gunmen who barged into the compound, posing as voters.
On the other hand, Malabang Municipal Police Station chief Cpt. Paul Simon Villareal debunked the allegations of Macapodi.
He said the local police have been reaching out to the victims’ families, including the Macapodi family, to file complaints in a bid to pursue the probe.
In a phone interview with The Times, Villareal said they have deployed policemen to the Macapodi residence, urging the family to file complaints. However, the family refused to coordinate.
Villareal assumed that the Macapodi family feared that lodging complaints in the local police station would only result in revenge.
« This is also the problem with our local police because of rido or family feuds. The witness is afraid to file a case because of possible revenge. On our part, we were able to reach them by text and phone call, » Villareal said.
Balindong garnered 14,783 total votes while Macapodi got 12,249 votes.
Malabang is a third-class municipality under the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
It has a population of 49,008 as of the 2020 census, and a land area of 198.10 square kilometers. It consists of 37 villages.
For the May 9 polls, the municipality had 37,720 registered voters.