Thursday, 16 February 2017 13:30
Mayor Beng Climaco has directed military and police authorities to pursue without let up the operations against perpetrators of the strafing incident involving a Rural Transit Bus along MCLL Highway in barangay Buenavista in the east coast Tuesday night.
Eight (8) out of the 35 passengers in the bus enroute to Pagadian from Zamboanga were wounded during the incident. As of Wednesday afternoon, 5 of the 8 were already discharged from the hospital while the 3 are to undergo further medical tests including leg surgery for one victim.
The mayor, through City Caretaker and OIC-Mayor Engr Rodrigo Sicat supervised and facilitated response and instructed authorities to undertake steps to resume normal operations in the area. Rescue teams from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) and City health Office (CHO) were dispatched to the area and facilitated the transfer of the victims from the Curuan hospital to the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC).
Sicat early dawn Wednesday motored to Buenavista to personally look into the situation and to facilitate other necessary response. At the ZCMC where the 8 wounded passengers were rushed, Sicat also discussed with Rural Transit management about medical needs of the victims.
Noontime Wednesday, Sicat convened a security meeting with representatives from the police, Task Force Zamboanga, MBLT11, City Social Welfare Officer Socorro Rojas and others concerned to discuss updates on the incident.
The CSWDO has also been tasked to provide trauma debriefing to the wounded victims while the CHO is facilitating the leg surgery. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-9) has provided P5k financial assistance to each of the wounded victims.
Per mayor’s directives, forces from the MBLT11 in coordination with Task Force Zamboanga personnel are continuing pursuit operations in the area, as the police are conducting extensive investigation exploring all possible angles. Climaco remains on top of the situation as she continuously monitor the progress in the investigation and all support and assistance provided to the victims
The incident occurred around 11:55pm Tuesday in Km 58, Buenavista east of the city involving a Rural transit bus with plate no. JVH-447 with 35 passengers on board. Authorities reported that the bus was rapidly shot side by side by undetermined suspects with use of rifle as evidenced by M16 spent shells, while passing through the highway. The bus marshals under TFZ returned fire and directed the bus to the checkpoint. A bus came to fetch the passengers and proceeded safely to their destination while the victims were attended to. Rural transit will shoulder medical expenses for patients. (Sheila Covarrubias)
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