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Bangsamoro Business Council chair survives ambush; driver of Maguindanao mayoralty bet killed

The bullet-riddled car of Atty. Ronald Dimacisil-Torres was broken outside but remained intact inside because of its Level 7 bulletproof armor. He was attacked while entering his compound at Rosary Heights 6 in Cotabato City at past 4 p.m. Thursday, 07 April 2022. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

COTABATO City (MindaNews) – A prominent lawyer and business leader in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Thursday escaped a slay try by still unidentified suspects who peppered with high-powered firearms his bulletproof car.

Ronald Hallid Dimacisil-Torres, chair of the newly formed Bangsamoro Business Council, and his unnamed companion were not hurt after the strafing of the young lawyer’s white Toyota Land Cruiser protected with a Level 7 bulletproof armor.

Torres’ car was about to enter his compound in Jasmin St, Rosary Heights 6 here at past 4 p.m. when gunmen aboard a blue pick-up truck peppered it with automatic rifles, hitting the right and the back portions of the vehicle, police investigation showed.

It was too late for the attackers to realize that the car used by Torres is bulletproof. They immediately left the area after attacking their target.

Colonel Rommel Javier, city police director, said that they were still investigating and seeking more information to identify the suspects and the motive of the attack.

In a Facebook post, Torres thanked his friends and relatives for the prayers for his safety.

“Ya’ Allah, Alhamdullilah for the second life,” he wrote.

On Tuesday, Torres attended the opening of the Ramadhan Trade Fair inside the Bangsamoro Government Complex sponsored by the Ministry of Trade, Investment, and Tourism.

He pushed to enhance the business and tourism potentials of the region.

Meanwhile, at noontime Thursday, a driver of mayoralty candidate Datu Nokman Sangki, bet of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao, was killed after a chasing-and-shooting incident in Purok 5, Poblacion Ampatuan.

Police Lieutenant Reynaldo Samson, Ampatuan police chief, identified the victim as Casmin Angeles, a Balik-Islam.

“The suspects were riding-in-tandem and armed with a.45 caliber pistol. They chased the victim until he was cornered and shot him,” he said.

“We are looking at two motives. First, it could be a vengeance to his role as a negotiator for the surrender of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF to the military. Second, it could be work-related as the driver of the mayoralty candidate. We are still digging deeper in our investigation,” Samson said.

The police were shocked to learn that the motorcycle used by the victim is red-plate registered, or government-owned, since he was not a government employee, the official added.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, UBJP deputy secretary-general, condemned the attack on their party member.

“We condemned in the strongest possible words the brutal killing. From the deliberate destruction of our party’s campaign materials in Maguindanao, now it has turned more violent. This should not be tolerated, especially during this holy month of Ramadhan,” Sinarimbo said in a statement.

The UBJP urged law enforcement agencies to bring justice to the victim. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)

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