Boholano Claretian priest survives Basilan ambush

A BOHOLANO missionary priest and 5 others survived an ambush try Saturday, October 18 in Basilan in Mindanao.

Rev. Fr. Felimon “Mon” Libot, a missionary of the Claretian Order hails from Tangacasan Norte, of Loay town here.

He on his way to celebrate the following day’s mass in priest-less Tumahubong town, 97 kilometers away from his base in Isabela City, Basilan when he and his companions were ambushed.

Marine and CAFGU escorts accompanied him Saturday afternoon when a band of 4 armed men fired upon the civilian vehicle they were on, reports from Mindanao said.

While his escorts returned fire, the band of armed men succeeded in wounding at least 4 CAFGUs while Libot and another CAFGU only identified as PFC Nicolas suffered minor injuries said Col. Rustico Guerrero, Commanding Officer of the 1st Marine Brigade.

Libot, a religious missionary is currently the Director of Claret College of Isabela.

Fr. Libot, along with Basilan priests including Bishop Martin Jumoad attended the spiritual needs of the town.

Based on reports, Fr. Libot was traveling via Isabela-Maluso-Sumisip circumferential road and was about 7 kilometers from Tumahubong proper when they were fired upon.

Col. Guerrero added that government troops from the MBLT-10 were sent to track down the armed band, whose identities and motive are still under investigation.

While no identities have been established on the criminals, sources have theorized that factions in the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cooperative (TARBIDC) may have been the culprits.

The TARBIDC engaged a P50 M loan for the cooperatives modernization of the rubber production, a fund allegedly mismanaged.

The conflict among cooperative factions has also been pointed as the cause of unresolved killings and other criminal activities in the area, including the torching of the cooperative administration building. (PIA/rachiu)

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