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Two attackers of Cotabato City govt. official identified, hunted

Local News • 00:26 AM Thu Jul 23, 2015
Noel Y. Punzalan/PNA

COTABATO CITY (PNA) -- Lawmen are hot on the trail of two suspects behind Tuesday’s botched ambush-slay try on the life of a city government official here whom the victim himself later identified before authorities at his hospital bed.The victim, Aniceto Rasalan, secretary to the mayor, was slowly cruising along Sinsuat Avenue here aboard his government–issued minivan around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when fired upon by a motorcycle-riding tandem who has been trailing him.Rasalan sustained gunshot wounds from .45 caliber pistols used by the assassins but luckily survived the incident despite being hit on the face, neck and shoulder. Rasalan has positively identified his attackers and we will get them at all costs,” Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. said during an urgent press briefing he called on Wednesday at the city hall here.Without giving specifics, Guiani said the attackers belong to the same group of hitmen out to get him due to stricter measures his administration has been instigating against crime. This group of killers has been frequenting the city and since they could not get me, they hurt people close to me,” he said.Guiani also did not discount political angle as motive behind the incident. He did not elaborate.Lawyer Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, city administrator and sister of the mayor, said Rasalan has been airlifted Wednesday to another city for further medical treatment.”Sr. Supt. Rex Anongos, city police director, said patrol visibility has been doubled to preclude further occurrences of crimes here. Though we are undermanned, it is our duty to keep the city always safe,” he said.Anongos noted that the city police force currently has 312 personnel, a far cry from its average requirement of 500 cops for urban centers. The standard police-civilian ratio is 1and5 but we are presently operating at a 1and1,000 proportion,” he said. (PNA)

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