Bus collector killed in holdup

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/15 April) — A bus collector was shot dead for allegedly refusing to hand in his fare collection during a hold up along the national highway in Pikit, North Cotabato at around11:30 a.m. Sunday,  police said.

Insp. Elias Dandan, Pikit police chief,  identified the victim as Nasser Dima, conductor and ticket collector of the Eric Bus with body number XXV plying the Cotabato-Davao route.

Dandan said four male passengers who boarded the bus along the highway in Aleosan town declared a hold-up after the bus reached Sitio Mahad, Barangay Fort Pikit.

According to SPO2 TengDimapalao, case investigator, after the suspects took the cash and personal belongings of the passengers, they ordered Dima to disembark from the bus.

A few minutes later, passengers heard shots.

Dimapalao said Dima sustained several gunshot wounds on his head and chest, which caused his instant death.

The suspects fled on foot towards the interior portion of the village.

Dimapalo hinted the bus conductor may have refused to hand in his collection to the suspects so he got killed.

But reports reaching Dandansaid that Dima had been receiving death threats since last year and that the killing could have been related to a personal grudge.

Witnesses told police the area is just 400 meters away from the detachment of the joint composite team of the Army and CAFGU of the 7th Infantry Battalion.

Despite the proximity of the Army detachment to the crime scene, it took the soldiers in the area at least30 minutes before they could respond, said some of the witnesses.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Hao, commander of the 7th IB, denied the charges saying his men were able to respond immediately to the distress call.

“All security forces have a duty to help.    Hindi lang talaga mahuli ang mga suspect, on time,” said Hao.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)