NORTH COTABATO, Philippines – Suspected guns-for-hire shot dead a court sheriff of Midsayap town Thursday night, just a day after armed men killed an arson investigator.
Juanito Diazon, sheriff of Regional Trial Court Branch 18 in Midsayap town, died on the spot from several gunshot wounds, said Superintendent Reinante de los Santos, Midsayap police chief.
Diazon had come from the Midsayap town proper and was to alight from his motorcycle in front of his house when two men armed with pistols approached and shot him, De los Santos said.
Responding barangay officials rushed Diazon to a hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
De los Santos said investigators suspect that Diazon’s killing could be work-related or could have stemmed from an old personal grudge.
The incident was preceded by Wednesday’s killing in nearby Pikit town of Aquino Taib Mamasalagat, a senior arson investigator of the Pikit municipal fire bureau.
Mamasalagat was reportedly walking at the Pikit public market when two men armed with .45-caliber pistols blocked his path and shot him repeatedly, killing him on the spot.
The assailants hurriedly escaped after the gunfire triggered a commotion that attracted the attention of the market’s security guards.