Marine killed in Cotabato motorcycle shooting

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Dec) – A Marine on his motorcycle was killed when ambushed by two suspects aboard yet another motorcycle here Tuesday morning. Four civilians were injured in an ensuing gunbattle, police said.

T/Sgt. Leopoldo Moncerena was reportedly on his way home for the holidays to Lebak in Sultan Kudarat from his base in Zamboanga City when shot along Sinsuat Ave. here.

The victim sustained several caliber .45 gunshot wounds, police said.

The suspects reportedly took away the victim’s backpack and rushed towards General Luna St.

Unfortunately for the suspects, a Special Forces intelligence operative was gassing up when they passed by, prompting the soldier to fire on the suspects. An exchange of gunfire ensured, and one of the suspects was injured, while one was able to escape but left the motorcycle behind.

The injured suspect, who identified himself as Johari Baknal Upam, said they ran after and shot the victim because the latter hit their motorcycle but did not bother to stop.

Police, however, are not convinced. They are now investigating if this case is related to the shooting of two soldiers in Marawi City earlier today.

This year alone, five soldiers have already been shot by hitmen aboard motorcycles.