• Police commander killed by group of Zamboanga mayoralty aspirant

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: A police commander was killed and another wounded after they were allegedly shot by the group of a mayoralty candidate in Zamboanga del Norte province in southern Philippines, police said Thursday.

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    Police said Senior Inspector Mirdan Usama, leader of the 1st Maneuvering Platoon of the Regional Public Safety Battalion 9, was killed in the attack late Wednesday that also wounded another officer in the village called Camul, in Tampilisan town.

    Usama and two other officers were trying to intercept a pickup truck on which armed men had been spotted after they had run into a police checkpoint.

    But instead of stopping the truck, its passengers opened fire on the policemen and sped away only to be intercepted by security forces at a roadblock set up on the highway.

    The passengers of the truck, according to the police, turned out to be the group of Alson Chan, who is running for mayor in Tampilisan, and three of his bodyguards.

    “They have been arrested, all four of them, including Chan, who are the prime suspects in the killing of Senior Inspector Usama,” a police investigator in the case, SPO1 Paipa, told The Manila Times by phone from his headquarters in Tampilisan, adding that they are still investigating the incident.

    Usama was rushed to the Sibud County Hospital in Titay town in the neighboring Zamboanga Sibugay province, but died from his wounds.

    “PSI Mirdan A. Usama sustained gunshot wounds that caused his death,” a separate police report said. “Suspects are now detained at Tampilisan municipal police station for further investigation.”

    The body of Usama was brought to a funeral home in Zamboanga City on Thursday. There was no immediate statement from Chan about the shooting. AL JACINTO

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