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Cotabato Ambush

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – A retired policeman and his driver were killed in an ambush along the national highway in Matalam, North Cotabato, around 3:15 a.m., on Sunday.

Senior Inspector Elias Dandan, chief of Matalam Police, identified the victims as Felixberto Badayos, former member of the Philippine Constabulary and a resident of Kidapawan City; and Danny Simon of M’lang, North Cotabato. Dandan said the victims, both on board a green Isuzu Highlander with license plate LDG 620, were on their way to Kidapawan City from nearby Kabacan town when waylaid by at least five unidentified gunmen at Purok-Uno, Barangay Kilada in Matalam town.

Reports said Simon died upon arrival at M’lang District Hospital in M’lang town while Badayos expired while being treated at Babol Hospital in Matalam town.

The Alert Team of the Matalam Police, led by Inspector Mautin Pangandigan, recovered from the crime scene eight slugs from a .45-caliber pistol.

Police have yet to verify reports if the victims were guns-for-hire.

Also, investigators do not discount possibility that the killing could be brought by personal grudge as Badayos, based on testimonies from different sources, has many adversaries. (Malu Cadelina Manar)

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