ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Apr. 6, 2011) – Four gunmen boarded a provincial bus and shot dead three people before robbing passengers in the town of Tungawan in Zamboanga Sibugay province in the southern Philippines, army officials told the Mindanao Examiner on Wednesday.
Officials said the attack occurred late Tuesday and among those killed were a bus marshal Lito dela Cruz; army major Julistidi Arasid, and his wife Aliya. They came from Pagadian City where their son graduated in high school and returning to Tungawan town when the attack occurred.
The gunmen also abducted one woman and torched the bus before fleeing to the hinterlands.
Officials said the gunmen posed as passengers and separately seated in the bus, but two of them later shot dead one of two marshals and killed the army officer as he tried to pull out his pistol. His wife who was seated near him was also shot and killed. Their son escaped by jumping out of the window.
Another marshal was wounded in the attack, but managed to escape to inform authorities about the incident.
“We have tightened security in the boundary of Zamboanga because of the incident. We have soldiers and checkpoints along the highway to ensure the safety of Zamboanga,” said Colonel Buenaventura Pascual, commander of an army anti-terror task force in Zamboanga City.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities previously blamed rebels and bandits in past attacks in highways in Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)