Zamboanga hotel owner shot dead

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Two gunmen believed to be hired killers barged into a hotel here on Thursday morning and shot to death its owner and a security guard.

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Police were interrogating the two men—Wilbert Villareal and Ernesto Angeles—who attacked Salwa Julwadi, owner of the Hotel Salwa, and her security guard. A third gunman escaped on a motorcycle and is being tracked down by authorities.

Investigation showed that Julwadi was having breakfast when the gunmen shot her in the face, while the security guard sustained gunshot wounds in the chest.

Police spokesman Inspector Dahlan Samuddin said the two killers, all residents of Zamboanga City, were cornered by pursuing policemen in Canelar Moret where they were captured.

“The motive of the attack is still unknown, but investigation is going on,” Samuddin said.

In her last Facebook post, the 48-year old Julwadi, wrote: “Mahirap hanapin ang tunay na pag-ibig. [It’s difficult to find true love.]”

There was no immediate statement from the family of Julwadi, who lost when she ran as independent candidate in Basilan province during the 2010 congressional elections.

The daring attack occurred a day after Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar put up a fund as reward money for anybody who could help or provide authorities with a flow of information about crime and criminals.

Salazar earlier said the local government will give monetary rewards to civilian informants who provided authorities with information that led to the arrest of two kidnappers—one from Zamboanga del Norte and the other a native of Zamboanga Sibugay province.

She said the city government has allocated P1 million reward money for this year.

It was not immediately known how much reward the informants would get from the local government, but the private sector said the reward is not enough, saying security remains a big problem in Zamboanga City where ransom kidnappings and gun attacks are not uncommon.

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