SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/18 February) — Even as the city is still trying to recover from the effects of the 6.7-magnitude quake last February 10, motorcycle-riding hit men struck again on Thursday.
On Thursday evening, three people died and another one was wounded in two shooting incidents perpetrated by assailants riding in tandem.
The first incident occurred at 6:50 p.m. along P. Reyes corner Narcisco Streets and claimed the life of Jemar Fortuna Alabat, 20, crane operator and a resident of Barangay Taft.
The victim succumbed to two gunshot wounds, in his neck and lower right cheek.
Police investigation said the victim was with his father, Gerniel Escubedo Alabat, 39 at the roadside when two men arrived aboard a motorcycle and said, “Ini ra baja kamo” (So you are here) and began shooting the victims.
Gerniel was hit in his right upper arm and was brought to a hospital.
The assailants fled afterward.
After 30 minutes, another shooting occurred at M. Ortiz Street in Barangay Washington killing two persons.
The victims were identified as Ray Manuel Honor Gealogo, a resident of Barangay San Juan, and his companion Jaynerhal M. Presas, a resident of Barangay Luna. They sustained wounds in their heads and bodies.
Both victims were riding a motorcycle when the attackers who also aboard a motorcycle shot the victims from behind.
Police did not rule out the possibility that the shooting was related to illegal drug trade.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced during his visit after the quake that he will continue the war on illegal drugs and other crimes.
“Patayin ko talaga kayo pagmag drugs kayo (I will really kill you if you are into drugs),” he said.
Recently, a retired judge in the city was killed while a city prosecutor survived an attempt on his life.
Lawyers here said the victims were on the “hit list” of a supposed death squad and that some police officers were involved.
Sr. Supt. Anthony Maghari, police provincial director, denied the existence of a hit list and the involvement of some police officers. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)