Police clueless on motive behind murder of four men in NorthCot

PIGCAWAYAN, North Cotabato (MindaNews /11 July) — Police authorities here are facing a blank wall as to the identities of the perpetrators and  the motive behind  the shooting of four men along the highway here Friday morning.

“We are still digging deeper, what we have are initial information and identities of the fatalities,” said Major Ivan Zamoraga, police chief of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato.

He identified the fatalities as Salahudin U. Usman, driver of red Toyota Innova (MAF-2108) and resident of Barangay Simsiman, Pigcawayan town, North Cotabato;  Sahabudia Kato Latip, 42; Nor Ibrahim S. Baraguir and Muhalidin Esmail Amolan, 28, all residents of Sultan Kudarat in Maguindanao.

Scene of the Crime Operatives from Region-12 gather evidence at the encounter site in Barangay Tubon, Pigcawayan, North Cotabato on Friday. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

“There was no sign of life when we arrived, we just cordoned off the area for the SOCO (Scene of the Crime Operatives) to come in, and have a proper investigation procedure,” Zamoraga said.

He said one of the four slain men, identified as Amolan, tried to escape but was chased by motorcycle-riding gunmen who served as back-up of the other suspects in gray Toyota Innova.

His body was found in a ricefield some 300 meters away.

Quoting witnesses, Zamoraga said the victims appeared to have traded shots with the gunmen on board a gray Toyota Innova.

Ian John Anigan, a resident of Barangay Tubon, told reporters that a gray SUV blocked the red Innova.

“The red Innova tried to avoid the gray Innova and turned around but was chased until we heard gunfire,” Anigan said.

Zamoraga said police found empty shells for cal. 45 pistol inside the red Innova while empty shells for M-16 scattered at the crime scene. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)