MANILA, Philippines - The murder of a US diplomat's husband during a brawl just outside an exclusive compound in the nation's capital was an "isolated incident" and not targeted at anyone in particular, Foreign Affairs Spokesman Raul Hernandez said Monday.
News reports said the victim, who is a US Marine, was walking into the compound early on Saturday morning when he saw security guards at its gates checking the identification of the suspects, who were inside a luxury sports utility vehicle, police said.
The victim joined in the conversation as the suspects were refused entry because they did not have a pass for the compound, triggering an argument and a brawl, city police chief Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban said.
"The men were about to leave when he rapped their vehicle. The suspects then got off the vehicle, and mauled and stabbed him to the back and shoulder," Lukban told reporters.
He said the American died in hospital.
The assailants tried to escape but nearby police, alerted by the security guards, caught them, Lukban said.
A blood-stained military-style knife was recovered from them, he said.
All the suspects -- three businessmen and a university student -- were in their 20s, according to Lukban, who said they had all been charged with murder.
The US embassy in Manila confirmed the incident in a short statement expressing anger.
"The embassy condemns the violent attack. The victim was the beloved spouse of a US embassy staff member and a father of three," embassy spokeswoman Tina Malone said in a statement without releasing his name or further details.