Inside out

Random musings in and outside the news

3 killed, 8 hurt in Basilan ambush

Posted by Abi Kwok on April 6, 2009

By Julie Alipala, Abigail Kwok
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 11:19:00 04/06/2009

ZAMBOANGA CITY–(UPDATE 3) Three were killed while 14 others were wounded when unidentified armed men ambushed a truck carrying farmers in Lantawan in Basilan Monday.

Senior Supt. Salik Macapantar, Basilan police chief, identified those who were killed in the 6:35 a.m. ambush as Munding Alay, Junifer Agbay and Kadafi Aleodin, all workers of the Tairan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc., (Tarbanci).

Macapantar said they believed that enemies of the farmers’ cooperative might have been behind the ambush.

He did not elaborate.

Father Arnel Lagman, parish priest of the San Roque Chapel inside the Tarbanci farm, said the victims had just attended mass and were onboard a truck on their way to a coconut plantation when fired upon by unidentified men.

“It’s unfortunate that while we are observing Holy Week, we are also mourning the death of the three workers,” Lagman said.

Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad condemned the ambush.

“To the perpetrators, may you realize that you have committed the greatest injustice. God or Allah does not enjoy seeing his people suffer. Why kill when we are all Filipinos? If you have something against the company, please bring the issue to the proper forum,” Jumoad said.

Jumoad earlier said four of the wounded were in critical condition and were brought to Isabela City.

“Yung ibang wounded minor lang, dito na lang ginamot (The others wounded had minor injuries so they were just treated here in Lantawan),” Jumoad said.

There was no indication if the attack was meant as a statement against a particular religion.

Jumoad noted that the three fatalities were of different religions — two were Catholics and one was Muslim.

Macapantar said Macapantar said police was also looking into the possibility that the victims were caught in the middle of two feuding villages: Bagbagon and Tairan.

The conflict between the two villages existed since 1970 but was settled in 2008.

However, the conflict between the residents was still ongoing, he said.

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