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Bangsmoro regional human rights investigator, driver shot dead

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AN INVESTIGATOR of the Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Archad Ayao, was shot dead in Cotabato City Tuesday while on board a motorcycle transport service known as habal-habal. The habal-habal driver, identified as Pio Orteza, was also shot and killed. The Cotabato City Police Office reported that the victims were traversing Don Ramon Rabago Street in Barangay Rosary Heights 4 when two unidentified gunmen, also on board a motorcycle, fired at them. Both were hit in the head and declared dead on arrival at the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center. Two .45 caliber pistol cartridges were recovered at the crime scene. Police Corporal Reynante Mayo said the motive is still unknown, and, “We are still requesting CCTV footages from nearby establishments to help with our investigation.” Former RHRC head and current member of the Bangsamoro Parliament Laisa Masuhud-Alamia said, “I’m praying that Archad’s murder wouldn’t become just a part of police statistics.” Ms. Masuhud-Alamia recalled the murder of a humanitarian worker of the then ARMM, Betsy Yap, in Maguindanao last year, which remains unresolved. “Her (Ms. Yap’s) case continues to be unresolved. Just like Betsy, Archad was so young when he was killed. These are tragedies that are difficult to cope with,” she said. — Tajallih S. Basman

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