By Bonita L. Ermac
Iligan City – A barangay councilor and his wife were shot dead, and their house later set on fire last December 1 by suspects later identified by the couple’s children as members of the Maute clan in Barangay Matampay, in Marantao, Lanao del Sur.
Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Director Sr. Supt. John G. Guyguyon identified the victims as Ustadz Khalid Ditingki and his wife Santalia Ditingki.
Guyguyon said the Ditingkis were with their children inside their home when the suspects barged in and opened fire at the couple. The suspects then set the house on fire.
According to Guyguyon, the children were later able to identify their parents’ assailants as Nabel S. Tomara, a security guard at the Mindanao State University (MSU) Marawi City campus; Morad Dayaan Maute, a 67-year-old retired security guard; and Roalden and Maunara Maute, residents of Barangay Rapasun, Marawi City.
The suspects had other companions who remained unidentified but were said to be from Pantao Ragat in Lanao del Sur.
On December 2, Marantao police and the Lanao del Sur provincial police were able to arrest Tomara and Morad Maute in Barangay Rapasun, while the other suspects remained at-large.
Nabel and Morad were armed with .45-caliber pistols when they were arrested.
Guyguyon said the Mautes were actually relatives of the victims because the children were readily able to identify the suspects.
“May lumalabas na awayan tungkol sa lote (There seems to be an angle about feud over a piece of land), but we are still digging deeper and are not discounting investigation on other issues, and we’ll see what’s the involvement of the Maute, as they are also trying to see kung ano ang relationship sa gumawa dito sa Marawi (on what is the link to those who perpetrated the Marawi siege),” said Guyguyon.