2 killed, 5 injured in Basilan ambush-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
A GROUP of lawless elements with ties with the Abu Sayyaf bandits has killed two militiamen and injured five others in an ambush in Basilan province, a military official said Friday.
Four of the five wounded were also members of the militia force, the official said.
Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said the incident took place around 4 p.m. Thursday in the village of Sapah Bulak, Sumisip, Basilan.
Cabangbang identified the two slain militiamen as Isa Kasilan and Anting Pantasan, both residents of Tipo-Tipo town.
The four wounded militiamen were identified as Alip Pantasan, Bistiran Pantasan, Key Kasilan and Daru Mandokol also all residents of Tipo-Tipo municipality.
The wounded civilian was identified as Amil Antasari, a resident of Sapah Bulak, Sumisip town.
Investigation showed that the victims were aboard on motorcycles on the way home when some 10 gunmen ambushed them in the village of Barangay Sapah Bulak, Sumisip, Cabangbang said.
He said the victim came from a dialogue at the office of the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (TARBIDC), which maintains an office in the village of Tumahubong, Sumisip.
The dialogue was initiated by religious groups and the TARBIDC management to adopt measures aimed to put an end to the violence against the rubber plantation workers, he said.
The ambush Thursday was the fifth since last year on TARBIDC workers.
The other four incidents of ambush and the corresponding number of victims are as follows: October 23, 2011, six deaths and 12 wounded; April 5, 2012, three deaths and six wounded; July 11, 2012, six deaths and 34 wounded; and, September 7, 2012, one death and 38 wounded.
Cabangbang said the suspects are led by Wyms Wakil, who was a former official of TARBIDC.
Wakil has resigned from the cooperative after he was accused of murder.
The military and police authorities learned that Wakil is now leading a group of lawless elements and have ties with the Abu Sayyaf bandits.
TARBIDC owns 967.80 hectares of rubber plantation that stretches from the municipality of Sumisip up to the town of Tipo-Tipo. (Bong Garcia)