The Philippine National Police will conduct manhunt operations against those responsible for the ambush on the convoy of Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto-Adiong Jr. that left four of his police escorts dead as Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio and Speaker Martin Romualdez led political leaders across the country in condemning the attack.
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said they are also suspending the “Permit To Carry Firearms Outside of Residence” (PTCFOR) in three Mindanao provinces – Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and 63 barangays in North Cotabato.
“I condemn the ambush that apparently targeted Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong in the town of Maguing Friday. 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,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Romualdez added: “This senseless act of violence has no place in a civilized society like ours.”
“I want the gunmen identified and whoever is the mastermind unmasked.
I want them all to be placed behind bars and brought to the bar of justice as soon as possible. I call on our law enforcement agencies: waste no time in running after the perpetrators of this dastardly crime. They need to restore peace and order in the province immediately,” the House Speaker said.
“I grieve with the families of those who were killed and I pray for the safety and speedy recovery of our dear governor. We, in the Lakas-CMD, will extend all assistance necessary,” he added.
Adiong is a member of Lakas-CMD – the political party of the Vice President and the House Speaker.
The governor is the vice president of Lakas-CMD for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
According to a statement from the governor’s office Friday night, Adiong is “safe and out of danger” and is in “very stable condition.”
Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the PNP will conduct manhunt operations to immediately capture the suspects.
“The entire force of our police force in Lanao del Sur and the neighboring areas is already in action at this time to immediately apprehend those responsible for this crime,” Abalos said.
The governor’s younger brother, Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Alonto-Adiong, said they are not discounting the possibility that remnant forces of a local terrorist group may have been behind the attack.
“We are leaving no stone unturned. We are considering all possibilities,” he said.
Deputy Minority Leader and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman also voiced concern over the series of violence in BARMM areas.
Hataman said this attack was a brazen act of violence, perpetrated against no less than the highest local executive official of the province of Lanao del Sur and his companions.
“The perpetrators must be brought to justice in these cases, lest we give them an impression that the law cannot punish them,” Hataman said.
League of Municipalities-Lanao del Sur president Dimnatang “Jimmy” Pansar, the mayor of Butig town, also condemned the attack.
“The municipal mayors of Lanao del sur strongly condemn in all strongest terms the ambush against our provincial governor, his staff and detailed escorts. This is an attack against us and a travesty on the morals of the good people of Lanao del Sur,” Pansar said.
“We call upon the national government to immediately convene peace mechanisms to help in the identification, and ultimate arrest of the perpetrators, and achieve justice for the victims,” Pansar added.
BARMM Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said there is an established 103rd Brigade Camp of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) in Maguing. BIAF is the armed wing of the MILF.
Sinarimbo asked the families of the perpetrators to surrender the suspects immediately.