Mom, kids die in Maguindanao bombing

COTABATO CITY, southern Philippines – An explosion broke the near-midnight silence in Lower Tinungcaan, North Upi, Maguindanao, Tuesday. After the smoke cleared, a mother and her two young daughters lay dead.

Angelie Timpadan, 30, was found lifeless. Beside her, daughters Laarni and Jalanie also laid still. The former was six-years old and would have entered first grade next year. The other was two years younger.

Other siblings – Archie, 10; Icel, seven, and; Alanis, one – survived the blast that police suspects to have been from a hand-grenade. They were brought to a local hospital for treatment of shrapnel wounds and blast shock.

Politics is among the suspected motives in the blast attack because the children’s father, Allan Timpadan, is running for barangay councilor in the polls slated on October 25.

Politics is taken seriously everywhere in this province now known world-wide for the Nov. 23, 2009 massacre of lawyers and journalists who accompanied relatives of Esmael Mangundadatu when they tried to submit his certificate of candidacy to run for provincial governor.

The position of village legislator is levels below that of a provincial executive. But the violence election fever draws is no less frightening.

Allan, like Mangundadatu, survived the attack because he was not there.

According to witnesses, he was out having a meeting at the home of their barangay captain when it occurred.

Allan is the chieftain of Teduray tribe in Tinungcaan. He also serves a conventional government post as lupong tagapamayapa of Lower Tinungcaan.

This is an angle the police is also looking into.

“He is meddling most on tribal conflicts, maybe one party was upset on his decision”, Police Inspector Marcialiana De leon of the North Upi Police Precinct said. (Written by Ferdie B. Cabrera for PECOJON PH)