Abducted Agusan mayor, son killed by captors

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SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Oct) – The mayor of Loreto town of Agusan del Sur and his son abducted by armed men from his residence in Butuan City Monday night were killed by their captors later that evening, although their bodies were found only early morning today, police said.

Supt. Martin Gamba, of the Caraga Police Regional Office, said the hogtied bodies of Mayor Dario Otaza and his son Daryl were found in Purok 2 of Barangay Bitan-agan, a hinterland village in Butuan City, bearing multiple bullet wounds. The bodies were found around 6 a.m. by residents.

A source from the Army who asked not to be identified said the bodies bore bullet wounds in the back. There were reportedly 16 empty shells found near the mayor’s body and five near his son’s. The shells were a mixture from an M16 Armalite, caliber .45 and 9mm pistols, the source said.

Gamba said the Starex van used by the abductors as getaway vehicle was registered to somebody residing in the municipality of Quezon, Bukidnon.

The police official said earlier that mayor and son were abducted by 18 armed men at the mayor’s residence in Barangay Baan in Butuan. The armed men reportedly introduced themselves as members of the National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) who rushed inside the house, overwhelming the four security personnel.

Gamba indicated that the armed men used a black Starex van with plate number KDG 179 and with “tribal” markings, which they used as the getaway vehicle heading to Barangay Mahay.

The vehicle was reportedly recovered later in Barangay Dulag.

Otaza, who was a former New People’s Army (NPA) member, has become an outspoken critic against the communist insurgents and has time and again vowed to fight against the cause of the NPA and the influence of communism in the province.

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