Sunday Apr, 21 2024 11:42:22 PM

10 arrested after shootout amid Moro clan dialogue

Local News • 10:45 AM Wed Jan 3, 2024
John Felix Unson
The heavy gunfight that made awry a reunification dialogue in Barangay Rosary Heights in Cotabato City among members of the Sinsuat clan caused panic among residents in the area. (John Felix M. Unson)

COTABATO CITY -  The police arrested 10 individuals in connection with a deadly shootout on Tuesday afternoon in Barangay Rosary Heights 6 here amid a dialogue among members of the Sinsuat clan in nearby Maguindanao del Norte province, meant to resolve the deep-seated misunderstandings among them.  

Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said on Wednesday that their main effort, meantime, is to diffuse tension among members of the Sinsuat clan, while investigators are still trying to determine the real circumstances that led to the incident and resulted in the death of Staff Sgt. Zahraman Mustapha Diocolano.

Diocolano, who belonged to the 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company of the Maguindanao del Norte Provincial Police Office, was an escort of Mayor Lester  M. Sinsuat of the nearby Datu Odin Sinsuat municipality, the political bailiwick of their clan.

Responding policemen arrested Army Private First Class John Carlo Bravo Nocum of the 2nd Mechanized Battalion, Jholex Padsod Buludan, Ali Ibrahim Mongkar and Roufden Angkad Ameril, allegedly involved in the gunfight that led to Diocolano’s death.

The Cotabato City Police Office, in a report to Nobleza late Tuesday, said six others were arrested in connection with the incident in pursuit operations several hours later.

The gunfight right in the vicinity of the house of former Maguindanao del Norte Rep. Ronnie Q. Sinsuat in Barangay Rosary Heights here, the venue of their clan's peace dialogue, caused panic among villagers in houses nearby and employees inside the office of National Irrigation Authority 12, just a few meters away.   

The hostility among members of the Sinsuat clan is rooted in the controversial anointment by the United Bangsamoro Justice Party of Jamael as its candidate for mayor of Datu Odin Sinsuat during last year’s electoral exercise, against his nephew, Lester, who had won the two-cornered race handily.  

Jamael is a younger brother of Lester’s father, the late Ombra, who had served as mayor of Datu Odin Sinsuat.  

The Sinsuat clan has been ruling Datu Odin Sinsuat since its creation on August 18, 1947, originally as Dinaig municipality, via an executive order by then-President Manuel Roxas. (John Felix M. Unson)


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