AT LEAST six shooting incidents were recorded in Western Mindanao on the eve of midterm elections resulting in the death of a Philippine Navy official and injuries to at least three others, Police Regional Office 9 director Brigadier General Emmanuel Luis D. Licup said yesterday.
The PRO9 director said around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, still unidentified gunmen shot dead 53-year-old Colonel Nestor Yapit, the Navy Provost Marshal stationed at the Armed Forces Western Command.
An investigation showed that the victim was with one Roselyn Omar when attacked by the suspects on Veterans Road near the exit of the Zamboanga City Medical Center. The Navy officer suffered gunshot wounds in the head and chest and died while being taken to the same hospital.
Licup said they are looking into personal grudge as motive behind the killing.
The victim was about to board his van when shot and probers recovered two spent caliber .45 casings at the scene.
The official said they are also investigating a shooting incident in Purok Bonifacio in Barangay Paradise, Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay where the victim was identified as Army Sergeant Nemets Braganza, 39.
Police said the soldier was driving his motorcycle when shot by suspects Natan Jacuza, Nonoy and Dodoy Pamagan, all residents of Bgy. Compostela in Buug town around 10:45 p.m. Sunday.
The soldier was not hit during the attack and managed to seek cover.
The suspects, armed with .45 pistols, escaped on a motorcycle.
In Bgy. Bayabas in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur, 61-year-old farmer Marcelo Amaro was shot and wounded by his neighbor Julibe Ruiles around 12:40 a.m. yesterday.
The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds in his feet.
Licup said he has also ordered an investigation into a shooting incident in Purok Tula-Tula in Bgy. Tarakan, Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
An initial investigation showed that Totoy Marcaban,37, a candidate for a Sangguniang Bayan seat of Dinas municipality and his companions Abdulgani Esmael,54; and Hassim Esmael,54, were in a car when strafed by unidentified gunmen who were tailing them.
Local police and military troops have launched a hunt for the suspects.
In Bgy. Damit in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, Licup said local police are investigating an incident in which one Casimeo Enodio was shot in the right cheek by a group of armed men led by one Jun Matias and Jaolani Hassim around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Initial reports said the victim and his companion identified as Bryan Bacang, a 28-year-old provincial coordinator, who were on a motorcycle, were attacked by the suspects.
The suspects were onbard a pick-up when they shot the victims. However, Bacang was unhurt in the incident. Local policemen recovered several spent bullets in the area.
Another victim identified as Rudy Dalaoyan,48, a construction worker from Bgy. Baloyboan in Pagadian City, was also shot in the head by an unidentified suspect on the national highway in Purok 3, Upper Nilo, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur around 9:35 p.m. Sunday.
The shooting incidents came in the wake of the stepped-up enforcement of the gun ban and other Comelec rules and regulations in the region ahead of the national and local elections.