Treasurer shot dead in Jolo Print
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 11:55

A government treasurer was shot dead in broad daylight Monday by gunmen riding tandem on a motorcycle in the province of Sulu, one of the two strongholds of the militant al-qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group.

Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, Joint  military task group commander in Sulu said in a statement that  58-year-old Arsenio Marzo, 58, officer-in-charge-treasurer of the town of Maimbung, was standing in an area in the capital town of Jolo around 7 a.m. when two men aboard a motorcycle arrived and the back rider shot him several times.

Arrojado said Marzo was rushed to the Sulu Provincial Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

He said both military and police conducted pursuit operations, but the killers managed to escape.

He said all possible motives behind the gun slaying are being looked into aimed at unmasking the identities of the gunmen.

The dreaded Abu Sayyaf group maintains a camp in Sulu’s hinterland where government troops raided last month triggering a fierce firefight that left 15 militants dead. The clash gave opportunity to two hostages — Philippines Coast Guard personnel — to escape.

The two were kidnapped  in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte province  and brought to the island province of Sulu. Their companion, village chief Rodolfo Buligao, was beheaded on Aug. 11 which prompted the military to storm the group’s camp.

The militant group’s other stronghold is nearby Basilan island province where troops have also conducted an offensive operation on August that left two militants and a soldier dead.

Authorities have said that the Abu Sayyaf is still believed to be holding several hostages in Sulu, including a mayor and a public teacher.

Since 1991, the Abu Sayyaf — armed with mostly improvised explosive devices, mortars and automatic rifles — has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion in a self-determined fight for an independent Islamic province in the Philippines.

It is notorious for beheading victims after ransoms have failed to be paid for their release.