ZAMBOANGA CITY: A decorated army officer who fought the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan and Sulu provinces, and credited for the killing of Malaysian bombers, was killed in a daring ambush here.
Police said that Lt. Colonel Cristobal Julian Paolo Perez was shot several times in the head and body while at the back of his house in Guiwan village this city on Sunday evening.
The assailant fled on motorcycle after the daring ambush.
Reports said the gunman was outside the compound when he shot Perez. But regional police spokesman Supt. Rogelio Alabata said Perez was attacked by the gunmen at the back of the Secret Recipe Restaurant near the victim’s house.
“He was shot by motorcycle-riding suspects at his mentioned address, particularly at the back of Secret Recipe Restaurant. Victim sustained multiple gunshot wounds in head and body,” Alabata told The Manila Times.
Alabata said police investigators recovered bullet shells fired from a .45-caliber pistol at the crime scene.
Perez, 46, who was assigned with the 1st Infantry Division in Labangan town, Zamboanga del Sur, died from multiple gunshot wounds in the hospital.
He was one of the military’s top commanding officers largely credited for the killing of two Malaysian bombers, including bomb expert Mohammad Hussein, and the Abu Sayyaf jihadists in Basilan during his stint with the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion.
No individual has claimed responsibility for the killing as the police and military were investigating the motive of the murder.