- Special Pages
COTABATO CITY: Some 50 unidentified gunmen came close to farming villages in Maguindanao’s restive Montawal town on Thursday night and fired their guns to apparently scare settlers, sending some 200 people running for their lives.
Lt Col Benjie Hao, commanding officer of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion, said they are now helping the local police determine the identities of the gunmen and their real motive for the shooting frenzy.
No one was killed in the incident, but the loud repeated bursts of automatic gunfire forced villagers to abandon their homes and seek refuge in other barangays.
“We’re not even sure if it was politically-motivated, or a show of force,” Hao told reporters.
Montawal is a politically troubled town, where several barangay chairmen are at odds with certain local incumbent officials.
The Maguindanao provincial police office has ordered an extensive probe on the incident.
The Philippine Star