Village official ambushed in Zamboanga town

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Unidentified gunmen ambushed a village official in the town of Mahayag in Zamboanga del Sur province in southern Philippines, police said.

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Police said Julius Lapinig, a council member in the village of Manguiles, was driving his motorcycle with his wife as passenger, when three gunmen shot him at Purok Sinco. His wife managed to escape and reported the attack to the police.

The assailants fled after the shooting leaving behind the 41-year old official bathed in his own pool of blood. Police said investigators recovered 5 bullet casings of .45-caliber and 9mm pistols in the area.

No group claimed responsibility for the killing and it was unknown whether the attack was connected to politics or not. Police are investigating the murder.

It said a gunman was also arrested after he clashed with village guards in Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur province. But police said the arrest has nothing to do with the ambush in Mahayag town.

Police said the village guards—Melchor Villegas and Jesus Nano—were responding to civilian reports that a suspicious man was spotted in the village of Ditoray when they can under fire.

The two traded gunfire with the assailant who was shot and wounded and eventually arrested by policemen led by Inspector Mario Regidor.

The man has been identified as Roel Salomon, 23, and a resident of the neighboring village of Pedulonan.

Police seized from Salomon his .38-caliber revolver and is being investigated in Pagadian City where hired killers are actively operating. Salomon is facing criminal charges for attacking the village guards and for possessing an illegal firearm. AL JACINTO

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