STRICT INSPECTION. Police in Mamasapano, Maguindanao have intensified checkpoint operations following the murder of three family members during a predawn attack in Barangay Mangungkaling Tuesday (August 2, 2022). A couple and their five-year-old daughter were killed in the incident, while a nine-month-old baby was unharmed. (Photo courtesy of Maguindanao PPO)

DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao – Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Maguindanaon couple and their young daughter in Mamasapano town Tuesday.

Maj. Maximiano Gerodias, town police chief, said a group of armed men arrived and strafed the house of Abdulkadir Matuwa, 53, a farmer, at past 1 a.m. in Barangay Mangungkaling.

Abdulkadir, his wife Zahera, 32, and their five-year-old daughter, died in the incident, while a nine-month-old baby was unharmed.

“The baby was in a hammock and was asleep when the attack happened,” Gerodias said in an interview with reporters. “The baby is now with the victims’ relatives.”

Police recovered multiple empty shells for an M16 rifle.

Police are still investigating the incident.

Mamasapano was the site of the bloody encounter in January 2015 between the police’s Special Action Forces (SAF) and Moro rebels that left 44 SAF personnel, 18 Moro gunmen, and civilians dead. (PNA)