Two barangay chairpersons and an escort were killed while two other persons were injured in separate ambuscades in North Cotabato and Masbate on Thursday, police said.

Senior Inspector Sindato Karim, police chief of Pikit, North Cotabato, identified the fatalities in the second incident as Dhats Simon, chairman of Brgy. Bulol, and his aide Akmad Bantas.

Simon and Bantas were riding a motorcycle along the provincial road in Brgy. Gli-gli around 3 p.m., when two men on two incoming motorcycles opened fire at them, Karim said in a text message.

Both gunmen are believed to have used M16 rifles as 25 empty shells for that firearm were found at the crime scene, Karim said.

Simon and Bantas were taken to the Cruzado Medical Clinic and Hospital because of bullet wounds to the different parts of the body, but were declared dead by doctors, he said.

Investigators are still trying to determine the identities of the assailants, who quickly fled after the attack.

The shooting is believed to have stemmed from “personal grudge,” Karim said.

Hours earlier, around 9:40 a.m., a barangay chairwoman was killed and her husband was injured in another ambush in Placer, Masbate.

Killed was Rodilyn Camay, incumbent chairwoman of Brgy. Matagangtang, Placer, Masbate provincial police spokesman Superintendent Eugenio Manondo said.

Camay’s husband Romil, a former chairman of their barangay, was hurt in the attack along with one Giovani Liquigan, helper of a beer delivery truck that the couple passed by.

Rodilyn and Romil were travelling along a road in Brgy. Aguada on a motorcycle, when unidentified men “waylaid” and shot them with caliber-.45 pistols, Manondo said in an emailed report.

Liquigan, who was unloading beer from a truck parked beside the road, was hit by a stray bullet, he said.

Rodilyn and Romil were brought to the Cataingan District Hospital but doctors declared the former dead.

Romil and Liquigan were later transferred to the Masbate Doctors Hospital in Masbate City for further treatment.

Senior Superintendent Prexy Tanggawohn, officer-in-charge of the Masbate provincial police, ordered local lawmen to look into all possible motives for the attack to help speed up the identification of the assailants. (John Roson)

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