Soldier, 3 others killed in Basilan shooting
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur—-A soldier, two militiamen and a civilian were killed Friday evening in a gun attack allegedly carried out by village watchmen in the town of Tipo-Tipo in Basilan province.
The incident happened just as President Rodrigo Duterte concluded his ‘Talk to Troops” before an all-military audience at the Edwin Andrews Air Base here on Friday.
Major General Fernando Reyeg, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan, said the shooting was caused by a personal grudge between one of his soldiers and a member of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) of Bohe Lebbung village in Tipo-Tipo town.
Killed in the shooting incident were Private First Class Mark Anthony Monte, a cadre assigned at the Bohe Lebbung Detachment; civilian militias Samy Akay and Alibasa Antaas; and Kong Uging.
Four others were wounded, identified as militiamen Randy Ibung and Gary Cuevas; Halam Jainul and Hakim Marani.
Reyeg said the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion is working with the local government of Tipo-Tipo and Bohe Lebbung barangay officials, to prevent an escalation of the conflict.
They are also partnering with the local police for the arrest of the suspects and further investigation, Reyeg added.
Reyeg said they were hoping the perpetrators will surrender to the town mayor.
Reyeg noted that Monte had an altercation with a certain Karim Manisan, a BPAT member and nephew of the Bohe Lebbung village chief.
He added that two days before the incident, Monte and Manisan had decided to mend fences.
On Friday evening, Manisan invited Monte to his home, some 120 meters away from the Army detachment.
As Monte’s group was on their way, they were allegedly shot by Manisan and his group, at around 9:30 p.m.
They then fled towards Sitio Larangay in Barangay Buli-Buli of Sumisip town aboard pump-boats.
An Army team has been dispatched to locate Manisan while the local officials of Tipo-Tipo are trying to locate the group to convince them to surrender.
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