Zamboanga police head chopped over slays

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: The police commander here was sacked from his post as gun attacks and killings continue unabated.

Sr. Supt. Edwin de Ocampo was replaced by Sr. Supt. Jose Chiquito Malayo, who heads the Police Regional Intelligence Division in Zamboanga.

Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca, a regional police spokesman, has confirmed that de Ocampo was relieved on Thursday and that Malayo is the new chief of the local police force.

Police did not give details about the sudden relief of de Ocampo.

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But it came hours after a police officer Hussin Mushin was shot and seriously wounded by a lone gunman in the village of Lower Calarian. Mushin, who is assigned at a police detachment in Sacol Island, was rushed to a hospital.

De Ocampo quickly blamed family feud as the motive of the attack.

Gun attacks and killings are a common occurrence in Zamboanga City where hired killers are actively operating. Hundreds of people had been shot and killed here over the past years.

De Ocampo was previously removed from his post because of the unabated killings, but had been taken back by the former mayor of Zamboanga City Celso Lobregat.

Just recently, hundreds of students of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University held a prayer rally following the killing of one of its alumnus Justine Raphael Wee, 22, shot in the head by a lone gunman wearing a motorcycle helmet at a roadside eatery along Veterans Avenue here.

Most of the murder cases in Zamboanga remain unsolved and police and local government officials usually blame the killings to either family feud or grudge.

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