ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 2, 2009) – An unidentified gunman killed a relative of a local restaurateur in a broad daylight attack Tuesday in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.
The victim James Ramirez was shot three times with a .45-caliber pistol as he was backing his car outside a tennis court near a police camp in Santa Barbara village, several blocks away from downtown Zamboanga, reports said. It said Jimenez' relatives owned a chain of restaurant here.
Police said Jimenez was rushed to hospital, but eventually died from his wounds. "He is dead," one hospital nurse at the Zamboanga Medical Center said.
The gunman escaped after the shooting. Police said it is still investigating the motive of the killing. Extrajudicial killings are not uncommon in Zamboanga City where hundreds of unclaimed cadavers, mostly victims of executions, were buried in common graves the past years.
Contract killings, many carried out by guns-for-hire, remain a big problem in Zamboanga and police have repeatedly blamed the murders to the proliferation of illegal weapons here and not on its failure to arrest or identify any of the killers.
Philippine police chief Jesus Verzosa earlier declared Zamboanga City as a gun-free zone, but many businessmen, who are licensed gun owners, carry firearms to protect themselves and their families from threats of kidnappings and lawless elements. (Mindanao Examiner)