Andal Ampatuan Junior, Mangudadatu's political rival, is currently on trial for masterminding the massacre although he has denied any involvement in the killings.

Andal Ampatuan Jr. is currently on trial for the November killings [AFP]
Several other clan members have also been charged.

Speaking to reporters following the alleged attempted kidnap Mangudadatu said he believed that he, rather than his 11-year-old daughter, was the intended target of the attack.

He said the assailant was one of the gunmen wanted by authorities in connection with the November 23 massacre.

The dead assailant has been named by police as Tamano Mamalapat, a former bodyguard of Ampatuan Jnr.

The incident comes as Philippine authorities brace for a surge in election-related violence as political campaigning gets into full swing ahead of national polls in May.

To date more than 60 people have been killed in election-related attacks.