North Cotabato provincial security chief shot dead in front of church

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 07 February) — Three unidentified gunmen shot dead the chief security officer of the North Cotabato provincial capitol in front of a Catholic church in Arakan, North Cotabato on Sunday morning, police said.

Chief Insp. Felix Fornan, Arakan police chief, said Bernabe Abanilla, chief of the Civil Security Unit of North Cotabato’s provincial capitol grounds, had just arrived in front of the church on board his Mitsubishi Strada pick-up vehicle with a companion when gunmen on a motorbike opened fire at about 8 a.m.

Abanilla and his companion, Degul Semillano, both residents of Barangay Doruloman, Arakan, North Cotabato, were still breathing when churchgoers and villagers rushed them to the hospital. The two were declared dead on arrival due to multiple gunshot wounds in the head and body.

“He was about to enter the church when the suspects on motorbike opened fire,” Fornan said, quoting witnesses.

Police recovered empty shells from a cal. 45 pistol at the crime scene.

North Cotabato  Governor Emmylou Mendoza condemned the killing.

“It’s a waste of life for a dedicated man doing his service. There is a deeper reason why those culprits wanted him to die. This was not the first attempt. Justice must be served for them,” she said.

She urged the police to conduct a thorough investigation. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)