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Cop, trader killed in Friday night shootings in Cotabato City

COTABATO CITY  – A policeman and a businessman were killed in shooting incidents 90 minutes apart on Friday night.

Killed at around 6:10 p.m. was Patrolman Franklin Moyet, who had just stepped out of his boarding house and was driving his motorcycle in Barangay Rosary Heights 4 while businessman Bjorn dela Cruz was seriously injured when shot along SK Pendatun Avenue in Poblacion 5. Dela Cruz died in the hospital early Saturday morning.

According to Police Major Ramil Villagracia, commander of station 2 of the city police, “it might be the suspects waited for (Moyet) to come out.” He said they were still gathering more evidences and statements from witnesses to establish the motive of the killing.

The slain policeman was assigned in City Mobile Police Force and was a resident of Lebak in Sultan Kudarat province.

Herrera, a local businessman engaged in plastics trading, was driving a white SUV when attacked by riding-in-tandem suspects.

Earlier this week, Mayor  Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi lambasted City Police Director, Police Colonel Michael Lebanan, for the spate of unsolved killings in the city that has been awarded several times as one of the safest cities in the country.

In the first quarter last year, Cotabato was second safest city in the country and safest in Mindanao, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the first quarter of 2018, based on records of crime incidence.

The mayor expressed dismay why the ronda, where the police, military and barangay security forces go around to ensure the citizens’ safety was stopped when it was gaining ground in curtailing criminality especially at night.

A member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan proposed a resolution declaring Lebanan as persona-non-grata.

“If I were him, he should leave the city after the weak performance he showed us,” Sayadi said in a press briefing earlier this week.

Lebanan maintained he is doing his job. “We will just continue to do our work,” he said. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)

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