8 injured in bus strafing PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:55

By DAN TORIBIO

An Army officer and seven other persons were wounded when lawless elements mercilessly strafed a passenger bus along Kilometer 58, Barangay Buenavista Tuesday night.

Rural Transit Bus with plate number JVH-447 was passing by the highway with 35 passengers on board when it was assailed by bullets from high powered firearms used by lawless elements.

Based on records of the Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT,) the bus bound for Pagadian city left the terminal at around 10:30pm carrying 35 passengers onboard.

When the bus reached Buenavista, an unidentified male passenger alighted.

After several minutes, pandemonium broke out as passengers screamed upon hearing successive gunshots from outside the bus.

The body of the bus was immediately riddled with bullet holes.

Two bullets were said to have pierced the portion of the windshield where the driver was sitting.

Despite this however, the driver reportedly managed to drive the bus to a military detachment located just a kilometer away to seek assistance.

Eight passengers sustained wounds from the incident.

The injured passengers were immediately brought to the Cristino Paragas Memorial Hospital where they were given immediate medical treatment.

The victims were later transferred to the Zamboanga City Medical Center.

At least two passengers were reportedly in critical condition after sustaining wounds on the face and head.

A Police Regional Office-9 report identified the victims as Christopher Caigan Lumawan, 27 years old and a resident of Imelda, Zamboanga del Sur; Ednalin Jaim Gella, 20 years old and a resident of Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur;  Jaman Alam Suradi, 53 years old and Philippine Army officer and resident of Sta Barbara, ZC; George Sinafica Elnas, 32 years old of Recodo, ZC; Reniel Endino Abong, 24 years old; Lopes Teña Noel, 46 years old of Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Jenevie Lopes Teña, 36 years old of Cabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay and John Recosasa Baynosa, 36 years old of Siparoc Jose Dalman, Zamboanga del Norte.

Curuan Police Station Commander Chief Inspector Ramon Bautista Jr. disclosed that the gunmen positioned themselves on both sides of the road and on higher ground, based on the bullet holes found on the body of the bus.

Several spent shells of a caliber 5.56 were recovered on the side of the road where the gunmen positioned themselves during the ambush.

Zamboanga City Police Office Chief Sr Supt Luisito Magnaye directed his men to immediately conduct hot pursuit operations. and tighten security in the city.

Meanwhile, City Planning Officer and concurrent city government Officer in Charge  Jojo Sicat proceeded to Buenavista to respond to the incident.

Sicat was designated as Officer in Charge by Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco- Salazar who was on an official trip as Regional Peace and Order Chairperson.  (Dan Toribio)