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Town treasurer, driver survive ambush in Maguindanao

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COTABATO CITY — A town treasurer and her driver were slightly injured fired at by still unidentified gunmen along a highway in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao province on Saturday morning.

The victims were identified as Phoebe Cates Pimentel, municipal treasurer of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, and her driver, Edwin Masukat, both residents of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town.

Col. Ronald Briones, Maguindanao police director, said the victims were on board a Nissan Almera sedan (Temporary plate number FOS437) from Cotabato City heading toward Datu Saudi Ampatuan when two men on motorbike opened fire on the victims along the national highway in Sitio Linamonan, Barangay Taviran, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao at 8:45 a.m.

Staff Sgt. Dimaciding Ali Succor Jr., investigator-on-case of Datu Odin Sinsuat police office, said the gunmen used a .45-caliber pistol and fled toward the direction of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. Police recovered empty shells for a .45-caliber pistol at the crime scene.

Succor said Masukat managed to drive the vehicle up to a detachment of the military’s 90th Infantry Battalion, where he sought help from.

A KM-35 military truck rushed the victims to a hospital in Cotabato City.

Pimentel, in a radio interview, said she was carrying PHP6 million in cash for the salary of local government employees of Datu Saudi Ampatuan.

Police said the money was intact and still in the possession of the municipal treasurer. (PNA)

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