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Ethnic Sama employee of Pagadian tourism office shot dead

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — An adversary shot dead on Saturday afternoon a Sama employee of the Pagadian City Tourism Office, also a barangay leader known for his extensive role in settling disputes among constituents in their seaside village.

In a report released on Sunday, the Pagadian City Police Office stated that the victim, Caloy Tanta Andal, 44, was on his way home from work when he was shot four times by a neighbor, identified only as Sahibil, while walking through a footbridge connecting houses in a Sama beachfront enclave in Purok Kabingaan in Barangay San Pedro.

Sahibil, also an ethnic Sama, and his three companions, overheard speaking to each other in their vernacular, escaped using a pumpboat hidden beside stilt houses a few meters away.

Barangay officials in San Pedro, home to mixed Sama, Tausug and Visayan communities, told reporters the slain Andal, a purok leader, and Sahibil had a heated altercation during a barangay conflict settlement meeting last month.

Andal, an employee of the Pagadian City Tourism Office, popular for his being active in resolving disputes among constituents in Barangay San Pedro, had reportedly reprimanded Sahibil for being unruly during their dialogue then.

Pagadian City Mayor Sammy Co on Saturday urged the officials of the Pagadian CPO and barangay leaders to cooperate in locating Sahibil and his three companions, all at large.