Militiaman gunned down by colleague inside detachment

Bandera (Mindanao) - - FRONT PAGE - —John Roson

A GOVERNMENT militiaman died after being shot by a colleague inside their detachment in Pikit, North Cotabato, Wednesday night, allegedly due to a quarrel over taking duties.

This came amid a government offensive aimed at flushing out members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in nearby Liguasan Marsh.

Esmail Tanto, of the Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA), died after being shot by Alberto Caburnay Jr., also a CAA member, North Cotabato provincial police spokesman Supt. Bernard Tayong said.

The incident occurred around 8:45 p.m., inside the 31st North Cotabato CAA Company's command post in Brgy. Ginatilan.

Tanto was watching tele-

vision together with the other militiamen when Caburnay appeared and fired on the former, using an M14 rifle, Tayong said.

Investigation indicated that minutes before the incident, Tanto and Caburnay engaged in a "heated argument," he said.

"Duty daw ata, parang may alitan sila sa relyebohan. Maliit na bagay lang, na naipon-ipon," Tayong told Bandera, when pressed for details.

Fellow militiamen brought Tanto to the Cruzado Medical Hospital, but he expired along the way. His remains have been turned over to his family in Brgy. Langayen.

Eight empty shells of an M14 rifle were found at the crime scene.

Authorities are still tracking down Caburnay, who was last seen fleeing towards the direction of Brgy. Ladtingan.

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