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South Cotabato mayor killed

Kristina Maralit

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A local chief executive previously included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s “narco-list” was shot dead Friday in South Cotabato.

Sto. Nino town mayor Pablo Matinong Jr. was gunned down by motorcycle-riding perpetrators while he was checking a road concreting project. He was shot twice in the head.

The suspects left the scene but came back moments later to shoot Matinong again, hitting a female bystander on her shoulder in the process.

The mayor had no security escort with him when the attack transpired.

Both victims were rushed to the Dr. Luntao Clinic and Hospital. Matinong was declared dead on arrival.

The bystander, meanwhile, is undergoing medical treatment, according to the police.

Local police, who cited a personal grudge as a possible motive for the killing, are also now coordinating with other agencies to track down perpetrators.

It was in March 2019, two months before the mid-term elections, when Matinong was included in the President’s list of politicians allegedly involved in the narcotics trade.

No charges, however, were filed against Matinong who went on to win another term.

Two years prior, Matinong was among the 33 mayors stripped of police powers by the Department of the Interior and Local Government after being accused of graft and corrupt practices and over their supposed links to drug syndicates.

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