COTABATO CITY (PNA)–Police and military forces are hunting down members of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Free-dom Fighters (BIFF) who tried to shoot down a pri-vate chopper carrying Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Toto Mangudadatu and his brother Saturday, police said Sunday.
Mangudadatu, his bro-ther Mayor Freddie Ma-ngudadatu of Manguda-datu town, Maguindanao were aboard a helicopter piloted by Capt. Dennis Figueroa en route to the Army’s 6th Infantry Divi-sion headquarters for a speaking engagement when the shooting occurred over the town of Datu Salibo.
They were all unharmed.
“We are hunting them down, we have intelligence information about the attackers,” Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, Maguin-danao provincial police director, said.
Mangudadatu who was seated beside the pilot of the three-seat aircraft said a bullet almost hit his head. A bullet hole was found in the glass right window.
The Maguindanao police, in hunting down the attackers, were backed by elements of the 40th Infantry Battalion.
Tello said the gunmen fired at the chopper as it passed above Sitio Daga-ding, Barangay Tee, Datu Salibo town at 10 a.m..
A day earlier, BIFF members who pledge allegiance to ISIS, set off an improvised bomb that injured nine soldiers of the 40th IB in Raja Buayan, a few kilometers from Datu Salibo.
Mangudadatu has been known for his hard stance against jihadists believed to be hiding in Maguindanao. On several occasions, Mangudadatu spearheaded summit against terrorism in the province that earned the ire of the BIFF.
He said he was not cowed by the attempt against his life, stressing what he has been doing is for the sake of poor Moro people in Maguindanao. Edwin O. Fernandez/PNA