COTABATO CITY: Gunmen shot dead the father of the bride and injured the bridegroom shortly after Muslim wedding rites for the couple in a masjid (mosque) inside the Mall of Alnor here Thursday morning.
Martial law is still in place in Mindanao where civilians are prohibited to carry firearms.
Chief Insp. Reynaldo Delatien, commander of Cotabato City police station 2, identified the victim as Hadji Nasifh Abdullah Sampiano, 52, former barangay (village) chairman of Barangay Purakan, Balabagan, Lanao del Sur. The bridegroom is Abil Gampong Balindong, 35, of Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
The shooting happened after the wedding rites for Balindong and Sampiano’s daughter in Muslim rites inside the masjid at about 10:30 a.m., police said.
One of the still unidentified gunmen, armed with 9mm pistol, opened fire on Sampiano several times, hitting him in the head and body.
Balindong was hit by stray bullets.
He and Sampiano were brought to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center located just across the mall.
They were declared dead at the medical center.
Motive for the attack remained unknown as of this posting, although unconfirmed reports blamed it on a “rido” or clan war or an honor crime.
An honor crime happened where the assailant after he perceived that his maratabat, a Maranao term for honor, was trampled upon and puts the law into his own hands.
Initial and unverified reports said one of the gunmen was a suitor of the bride.
Sampiano’s family brought his body to Balabagan for immediate burial since Muslims as an Islamic practice have to bury their dead within 24 hours.
The Scene of the Crime Operatives went to the Mall of Al-Nor to gather pieces of evidence and retrieved several empty shells of 9mm caliber pistol.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL