Manila Bulletin

8 wounded in pro­vin­cial bus straf­ing

- BY NONOY E LACSON

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Heav­ily armed men sprayed with au­to­matic gun­fire a pro­vin­cial bus com­ing from this city and bound for Pa­ga­dian City shortly be­fore mid­night on Valen­tine’s Day, wound­ing at least eight pas­sen­gers.

Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) Di­rec­tor for Zamboanga Penin­sula Chief Supt. Billy Bel­tran said about five men, all armed with M-16 Ar­malite ri­fles, at­tacked a Ru­ral Tran­sit Bus, with body num­ber 9554, along the Maria Clara Lo­bre­gat high­way bound­ary of Barangay Bue­nav­ista and Barangay Muti in this city.

Bel­tran said the bus was driven by Sele­do­nio Su­gabo. The bus left this city about 11 p.m. Fe­bru­ary 14, and was bound for Pa­ga­dian City in Zamboanga del Sur with 34 pas­sen­gers on board.

At least eight of the pas­sen­gers were wounded and were iden­ti­fied as Noel Lopez 45, John Baynosa 36, Ja­man Alam 53, Ed­na­lia Gilla 20, Raniel Abeng 22, Christ­pher Ca­gan 27, Ge­orge El­nas 35 and Genevie Lopez 35.

They are now con­fined at the Zamboanga Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Zamboanga City.

Bel­tran said po­lice­men from the Cu­ruan Po­lice sta­tion backed by el­e­ments of Task Force Zamboanga im­me­di­ately re­sponded to the in­ci­dent, but failed to catch the sus­pects who im­me­di­ately fled un­der the cover of dark­ness.

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