COTABATO CITY – A former local television journalist-turned human rights investigator and a “habal-habal” (motorcycle-for-hire) driver were killed in an ambush along a busy street here Wednesday night, police said.
Archad Ayao, 28, of Sitio Teksing, Barangay Poblacion 6, a former ABS-CBN Cotabato TV reporter and currently employed as an investigator at the Bangsamoro Regional Human Rights Commission (BRHRC), died from a gunshot wound in the head following the 6 p.m. ambush along Don Ramon Rabago Avenue, Barangay Rosary Heights 4, this city.
The “habal-habal” driver, Pio Orteza, 42, of Purok Dimasiray, Rosary Heights 4, also succumbed to two gunshot wounds in the head, police investigation revealed.
Police Major Ramil Villagracia, city police station 2 commander, said Ayao was onboard the motorbike driven by Orteza, and while traversing along Don Ramon Rabago Avenue, the duo was shot from behind by motorcycle riding-in-tandem gunmen.
“Both sustained gunshot wounds in the head,” Villagracia said. Responding cops rushed the victims to the hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival.
Villagracia said investigators found two empty shells for .45-caliber pistol at the crime scene.
He said police investigators are determining if the ambush was related to Ayao’s work as human rights investigator.
Local journalists said Ayao had no known enemies and described by peers as a hardworking and dedicated human rights worker. (PNA)