3 Arabic teachers killed in motorcycle ambush on North Cotabato highway
The online news portal of TV5
COTABATO CITY -- Three Arabic teachers on board two motorcycles were killed in an ambush on North Cotabato highway Sunday morning.
Usman Kanting, Normi Usman, and Budin Jamil died on the spot after receving gunshots to the head from a caliber .45 pistol, prompting the police to conclude that professional killers were behind the killing.
Another target, Abdul Racman Talib, 42, was wounded but survived the attack. He is now recuperating in an undisclosed hospital.
The four were on board two motorcycles when two assailants who were also on two motorcycles waylaid them.
Senior Superintendent Danilo Peralta said the incident happened in “a tranquil” portion of the highway at Barangay Baguer, Libungan, North Cotabato around 9 a.m. on Sunday.
“We can say the assailants are professional hitmen or hired killers based on how they initiated the killing,” Peralta said.
Police investigation showed that the victims were on their way to attend an Islamic symposium on the peace process at the nearby town of Pikit when the ambush took place.
“They may have been tailed from when they left Cotabato City. The suspects took advantage of the serenity of the highway, which is far from populated areas,” Peralta said.
The provincial police office has sent investigators to the victims’ hometown in Campo Muslim, Cotabato City to get more details about them, but the families were grieving and preparing for the burial of the dead.
Authorities have no idea for the motive behind the ambush.
“We will wait until the lone survivor can give the full details of the incident,” Peralta said.
On the other hand, Chief Inspector Bernard Tayong, Libungan police director, said witnesses have identified one of the gunmen and he is now the subject of a manhunt.