Police Major Marlon Silvestre, Balabagan police chief, identified the fatalities as Mando Interino and militiamen Hanafi Baraguer and Venhar Macapodi, all residents of Barangay Tubok, Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
“All three victims died on the spot,” Silvestre said Monday, June 21.
Wounded was Mastor Gani of Barangay Barurao, Balabagan, who was hit by a stray bullet and is now recuperating in the town’s hospital.
The victims were onboard separate motorcycles on their way to nearby Malabang from Balabagan when gunmen ambushed them around 4 p.m. in Barangay Molimok.
“Witnesses said the gunmen quickly boarded a multi-cab vehicle and sped off after the incident,” Silvestre said.
Responding policemen found empty shells for a Galil rifle, M16 rifle, and .45 caliber pistol at the crime scene.
Silvestre said efforts by local and religious leaders are under way to defuse tension in Balabagan and Malabang and prevent escalation of hostilities.