Loreto mayor, son found dead

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DAVAO CITY: The mayor of Loreto town in Agusan del Sur province and his son were found dead on Tuesday morning, 12 hours after they were forcibly taken by armed men from their residence in Butuan City.

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The bodies of Mayor Dario Otaza and son, Daryl, were found in Purok 2, Barangay Bitan-ag, Butuan City past 6 a.m. The bodies were hogtied and bore multiple gunshot wounds, the police said.

The two were taken by armed men, who posed as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), from their home in Barangay Baan, Butuan City.

Gen. Oscar Lactao, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, called the incident an act of terrorism and brutality.

A former rebel himself, Otaza was able to recruit 246 NPA guerrillas to surrender, Lactao said.

Malacañang has issued a statement condemning the incident.

“Abductions such as these, especially of upright, development-oriented public servants who are well-respected in their community, have no place in a civilized society,” the palace said.

“This only goes to show the lengths to which those who wish to obstruct our efforts towards peace and development will go through, in order to fulfill their agenda. We join the people of Loreto in condemning this incident.”

Otaza, it said, is a government partner “in ensuring that the gains of inclusive growth reach the broadest spectrum of his constituents.”

JEFRY TUPAS

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