CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – A still unidentified gunman attacked a traffic official as he oversaw operations along the city’s biggest public market Friday night, December 30.
Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) team leader Cris Cabingas died at 8:20 am on Saturday, December 31.
According to a police report, Cabingas was manning traffic operations along Guillermo street and JR Borja street, a major junction of the Cogon Market area, when a still unidentified suspect shot him in the back.
Cabingas is the team leader of traffic enforcers assigned to Cogon Market during peak hours on Friday night.
Cogon Market, one of the most congested areas in the city, is the biggest public market in the city. Thousands of vendors have occupied a big portion of the road especially this Christmas season.
Edgardo Jose Uy, chairman of the city’s Task Force Hapsay Dalan (clear road) said the suspect shot Cabingcas 3 times. He also confirmed to Rappler that Cabingas died on Saturday.
“The barbaric shooting of Cabingas, a criminal act for which the perpetrator must be brought before the bar of justice, has no place in civilized society like Cagayan de Oro,” Uy said.
The police are still investigating the motive behind the incident. They cannot say, for now, if the shooting is related to Cabingas’ work as an RTA team leader.
Uy, however, believed it was “work related.”
City information Officer Maricel Casino-Rivera lamented the fate of the traffic official.
“To the traffic complainers, you should know that it is not easy, the work of a taffic enforcers, they risk their lives, they get hit, slapped, belittled and now being shot and killed,” Casino-Rivera said in a Facebook post following the death of Cabingas.
The RTA has allowed vendors to occupy the sidewalk during the holiday season, but on regular days, it has been a game of cat and mouse, with the vendors taking the upper hand as the RTA is severely undermanned. – Rappler.com