Trader slain in North Cotabato shooting

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/19 July) – A trader was shot dead by two unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants in Magpet, North Cotabato around 5pm on Wednesday, police said.

Senior Inspector Jose Mari Molina, chief of Magpet police, identified the victim as John Neil “Toto” Navarro Blancaflor, agro-trader from Barangay Maleri, Antipas, also in North Cotabato.

It was the third shooting incident in Magpet this month, Molina said.

The police official said Blancaflor was driving his black XRM motorcycle when the gunmen attacked.

The victim sustained two gunshot wounds in his head and chest, he said.

Investigators hinted the gunmen were hired killers “because there was precision in their act. The subject was moving but they hit their target right.”

Molina said land conflict could be the motive behind Blancaflor’s murder.

Citing initial data, he said the victim was appointed as caretaker in a land in Antipas town owned by a relative.

Another angle being studied, he said, is robbery.

Blancaflor had just collected cash from some buyers of his rubber cup lumps in Barangay Don Panaca, Magpet when the killing took place.

However, police recovered in his possession cash amounting to P5,000.

On July 10, a still unidentified gunman seriously wounded Barangay Sallab chairman Ferdinand Cariaga.

A few days later, another shooting incident took place in Barangay Bagumbayan where the victim was the barangay chair of Doles.

The three incidents were not related to each other, Molina said. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)