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Grade 11 militiaman planning to join Army shot dead in North Cotabato

COTABATO CITY — Gunmen snapped in a gun attack on Wednesday afternoon the ambition of a member of the Citizens Armed Forces Geographical Unit to finish high school and get enlisted into the Philippine Army.  

Two men shot dead the 22-year-old John Rey Cabuga with .45 caliber pistols right in the campus of the Dalandag High School in Barangay Ginatilan ng the hostile Pikit town in North Cotabato province, where he is known as a polite and diligent Grade 11 student, studying while engaged in community security missions as a militiaman.

Up to 56 people in Pikit perished in unending gun attacks since 2020, all unsolved. The town is now touted as the “crime capital” of Region 12.

Major Arvin John Cambang, chief of the Pikit municipal police, said on Thursday that the killers of Cabuga had managed to get inside the campus of the public high school through its main gate, approached him and opened fire, killing him instantly.

The still unidentified duo escaped amid the commotion triggered by the gunshots that reverberated through the campus.

“We are so saddened by his death. He was industrious and a courteous person. We have an idea on why he was killed like that but we can’t talk for our safety,” said Cabuga’s 53-year-old uncle, a farmer, who requested anonymity.

Officials of the Department of Education in Pikit suspended indefinitely the classes in the Dalandag High School after the incident.

Teachers told reporters that they were stunned by the brutal murder of Cabuga, known as a hardworking CAFGU member whose intention was to finish high school for him to get enlisted into the Philippine Army via a candidate soldiers course training in the 6th Infantry Division

Officials of the Army’s 90th Infantry Battalion that has personnel in Pikit said they admire Cabuga’s dedication to service as a CAFGU member, whose plan was to finish high school and become an enlisted soldier.