KIDAPAWAN CITY -- A village councilman is in critical condition after he was shot by one of two armed men while standing outside a public market in Matalam town in North Cotabato around 10 a.m. Monday.
Two pedicab drivers were also wounded when they were hit by stray bullets during the attack, reports from the Matalam police revealed.
Senior Inspector Elias Coloma, chief of Matalam police, identified the victims as Mong Palalay, councilman of barangay Marbel in Matalam, and pedicab drivers Datumanong Abas and Mangadta Norodin.
Reports said Palalay was standing outside the public market in Poblacion when two motorcycles, both without plate cards, stopped just feet away from him.
One of the armed men shot him, using a caliber 45 pistol, based on the slugs recovered from the scene.
Two of the bullets fired on Palalay missed but hit two pedicab drivers also standing near the barangay official, reports said.
When Coloma knew about the shooting incident, he ordered the special alert team led by Police Officer 3 Josue Pido to pursue the attackers.
The police station is only few meters away from the public market.
When the police arrived at the area, they saw two motorcycles speeding toward Barangay Marbel.
One of the suspects, on board a red motorcycle without a plate card, hurled a fragmentation grenade toward the patrol car.
It didn't hit the car, though, and none of those on board the vehicle was hurt, according to SPO2 Froilan Gravidez of the investigation division of the Matalam police.
The explosion, however, hampered the police from running after the suspects.
Coloma said another team led by his deputy, Senior Inspector Sindato Karim, conducted dragnet operations and sealed off possible exits of the perpetrators. The armed men, however, managed to escape.
The police have yet to determine the motive and the identities of those behind the attempt on the life of Palalay.
Palalay and two others were brought to Cotabato Provincial Hospital at Amas Complex for treatment. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex