January 27, 2023

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Gunmen shot dead in two separate attacks a defeated mayoralty candidate and his son-in-law on Thursday, June 9, in Lamitan City, Basilan.
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CAMP SK PENDATUN, Maguindanao, Philippines

Gunmen shot dead in two separate attacks a defeated mayoralty candidate and his son-in-law on Thursday, June 9, in Lamitan City, Basilan.

The first to perish was Gappal Ujurun, who lost in his bid for the mayoral post of Akbar town against incumbent Mayor Sali Ali during the May 9 elections.

Akbar is a small town next to Lamitan City, one of the two cities in the island province of Basilan.

The headquarters of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) announced on Friday that Ujurun was whiling away time, at past 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, along a street in Barangay Matibay in Lamitan City when a man shot him repeatedly with a pistol.

The victim succumbed to bullet wounds while being treated in the Lamitan District Hospital, according to PRO-BAR.

The second victim, Wilbert Lao, was killed in an ambush at about 10:00 p.m. on Thursday in Barangay Maganda in Lamitan City, while on his way home from his slain father-in-law’s burial.

Ujurun was buried immediately in keeping with Islamic tradition of burying the dead within 24 hours from time of death.

Lao died on the spot from gunshot wounds.

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Investigators from the Lamitan City Police Office are certain the murder of Ujurun and his son-in-law are related, and were perpetrated by one group. Brig. Gen. Arthur Cabaluna, director of PRO-BAR, said he has directed the Lamitan City police force to exhaust its best in identifying the culprits for prosecution. (John Unson)

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