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GENERAL SANTOS CITY – A town mayor earlier linked by President Duterte to illegal drugs was killed yesterday along with his nine bodyguards at a police checkpoint in Makilala, North Cotabato.
Provincial Police Office spokesperson Supt. Bernard Sayong identified the local official as Samsudin Dimaukom, mayor of Datu Saudi Ampatuan.
Police said Dimaukom and his party were aboard two vehicles – a Toyota Grandia and a Toyota Land Cruiser – when they were flagged down by anti-narcotic operatives manning a checkpoint at 4:30 a.m. in Barangay Bulatukan.
Police said among the fatalities include Datu Suad Guimad, 24; security escorts MubarakPasagui , 26 Elmer Ali, 20, Haimen Anwar, 23 and Ismael Mindog, 25, together with Fajad Dimananal, 25; Aladin Guiamad, 35, Fajir Madi, 38 and Nasrudin Ali, 20.
The fatalities were initially brought to the Makilala Specialist Hospital where they were eventually declared dead on arrival.
Dimaukom’s group, as stated by authorities, was about to transport illegal drugs to Davao City.
Dimaukom was later linked by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to narco-politics together with 149 other officials.
Last August 7, 2016 Dimaukom surrendered to the Maguinadanao Provincial Police Office and denied that he was involved in the illegal drug trade.
He insisted that he was also against illegal drugs and is fully supportive of President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.
Dimaukom is also known for the construction of the Majib Dimaukom or Pink Mosque which he said brings peace and love. It was also built by Christian workmen, symbolizing unity and inter-faith brotherhood.
(With a report from Francis T. Wakefield) (JOSEPH JUBELAG • ALI MACABALANG)