Logger killed in Basilan for failing to say Quran verses
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Armed men believed to be Abu Sayyaf members shot dead a logger on Saturday morning in Maluso town in Basilan province for being unable to say Al Fatihah, the first seven verses of the Quran.
The men, who were carrying M16 rifles, took seven loggers – five men and two boys – who were hauling coco lumber in Sitio Camp Alih in Barangay Abong-abong, according to Insp. Robert Jay B. Bacalangco.
“They were held and asked to recite a Muslim prayer, those who could not recite was shot in the head, those who were able to recite were freed,” Bacalangco said in Filipino.
He identified the lone fatality as Eustiqui Auxtero, married and a 39-year-old resident of Sitio Stardust, Barangay Tubigan in Maluso.
The armed men spared the other six loggers because they were able to recite the verses.
The six others who were released are Radzmil Abubakar, 14; Haiber Maadjuran, 18; Ricky Kilantang, 14; Roel Villarin, 40; Margani Alfa, 19; and Aldemar Maddi.
All of them are residents of Sitio Stardust in Tubigan.
Bacalangco said the incident happened at around 10 a.m., but the loggers only managed to report it at past noon.
The loggers, Bacalangco explained, had to walk two hours to get to the police station.
The Philippine Army, he added, sent soldiers to retrieve the Auxtero’s body. /atm