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Trader slain by tandem in Cotabato town



By Malu Cadelina Manar

KIDAPAWAN CITY – A suspected gun-for-hire shot dead a 35-year old trader in Magpet, North Cotabato, the third shooting incident in town since July this year.



Senior Inspector Jose Mari Molina, chief of Magpet police, identified the latest victim of summary execution as John Neil (Toto) Navarro Blancaflor, agro-trader from Barangay Maleri, Antipas, in North Cotabato.

Molina said Blancaflor was driving his black XRM motorcycle when attacked by two still unidentified gunmen while heading towards the town’s Poblacion around 5 p.m, Wednesday.

The victim sustained two gunshot wounds on his head and chest which resulted to his instant death, Molina said.

Investigators said the gunmen had precision in their act. “The subject was moving but they hit their target right,” the police said.

Molina said land conflict could be among the motives in Blancaflor’s murder.

Citing initial data, the police officer said the victim was appointed as a caretaker in one of the lots in Antipas town owned by a relative.

Another angle being studied, he said, is robbery.

Blancaflor had just collected cash from some buyers of his rubber cup lumps in Barangay Don Panaca, Magpet, when the killing took place.

However, the cash, amounting to P5,000, was intact and was recovered by authorities, according to Molina.

The recent shooting incident in Magpet was the third since July, data showed.

On July 10, a still unidentified gunman seriously wounded Barangay Sallab chairman Ferdinand Cariaga. A few days later, another shooting incident took place at Barangay Bagumbayan where the victim was the barangay chairman of Barangay Doles, also in Magpet.

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