KABASALAN, Zamboanga Sibugay -- Five civilians were killed and four others were wounded after two armed men opened fire to a group of men sitting on a police vehicle in Barangay Cainglet, this town, midnight of February 9.

Police Provincial Director Romulo Cleve Taboso said the fatalities were identified as Emeristo Bastasa, Raymary Tena, Asser Mangan, a certain Calib-og, and Delia Pagador. They were pronounced dead on arrival at Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Hospital.

Wounded were Alex Angoon, Marisa Cumbal Bucan, Agnes Abcede Mangan and her eight-year-old daughter Syra Mangan.

Investigation revealed that the victims were sitting on a police vehicle parked at Donton Repair Shop along Cainglet Street when the unidentified gunmen shot them. The vehicle belongs to the Payao Municipal Police Station.

The victims were having a drinking session before the incident. Some of them came from the municipal gymnasium where a basketball tournament was held as part of the week-long celebration of the Our Lady of Lourdes festivities, which will culminate on February 11.

Police said the gunmen also threw a grenade before fleeing, wounding another person identified as Ryan Dumadag Francisco.

Taboso said investigation is ongoing, while a joint police and military operation was launched against the gunmen. (SunStar Philippines)