Police officer killed at checkpoint

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: A police officer was killed and another wounded after they were allegedly shot by the group of a mayoralty candidate in Zamboanga del Norte province that ran past a checkpoint on Wednesday.

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Investigators said Police Senior Insp. Mirdan Usama, leader of the 1st Maneuvering Platoon of the Regional Public Safety Battalion 9, died from 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 spotted with several armed men on board after they earlier ran into a police checkpoint. But instead of stopping, its passengers opened fire at the policemen and sped away only to be intercepted by security forces at a roadblock set up on the highway.

It turned out that the passengers of the truck were Alson Chan, who is running for mayor in Tampilisan town, 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,” Senior Police Officer 1 Paipa told The Manila Times by phone from his headquarters     in Tampilisan.

Paipa added they are still investigating the incident.

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

“PSI Mirdan 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 house in Zamboanga City on Thursday.

There was no immediate statement from Chan about the shooting.

Al Jacinto

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