ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Baliguian Vice Mayor Gani Esmali and two others were killed in an ambush in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, before lunch on Saturday, January 11.
An initial police report said Esmali was with his escort Police Corporal Godelito Bongcac and two others in the official’s vehicle when they were ambushed by two unidentified gunmen at around 11:20 am in Sitio Barazon, Barangay Sta Maria in Siocon town.
Police said Bongcac and Jaymalin Jalabi Tunggal were also killed in the ambush while Abduladjid Ibno Bairula was in critical condition at a hospital in Siocon.
Siocon Police chief Major Edison Alviar said in his report that Esmali was travelling from Baliguian to Siocon when around 5 men with high-powered firearms ambushed his vehicle.
The unidentified suspects fled back towards Baliguian on board a grey Toyota Hilux.
Recovered from the ambush site were 49 cartridges of M16 rifle and an aluminum magazine loaded with 18 M16 bullets.
Siocon and Baliguian are part of the dreaded “triple SB” area or the municipalities of Siocon, Sibuco, Sirawai , nd Baliguian located in the third district of Zamboanga del Norte.
These towns are in Zamboanga del Norte’s boundaries with Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga City, which were known to be the favorite hideouts of armed groups, including kidnap-for-ransom gangs and terrorists. – Rappler.com
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