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Korean trader shot dead in Agusan del Sur

BUTUAN CITY—A South Korean businessman engaged in mineral ore trading was shot dead Monday evening inside his home office in a village in the mining town of Rosario, according to a belated report by the Agusan del Sur provincial police office. Police identified the victim as Korean national Hongjuo Seo, 45, residing at Purok 7, Sitio Uguban, Barangay Marfil, Rosario town. Police identified the lone suspect as Ceasar Labe alias “Boy," also a resident of Purok 7, Sitiob Uguban, Brgy Marfil, Rosario, Agusan del Sur. Police said Labe, a farmer turned small-scale miner, remains at large as of press time Initial police investigation results revealed that the victim was about to sleep at around 9 p.m. when the suspect broke into his home, barged into the bedroom, and shot the victim in the head with an unspecified firearm. The Korean businessman reportedly died on the spot. The suspect, according to the report, immediately left and is now being hunted by the authorities. Police said they have yet to establish the motive for the killing. Rosario, more than 100 kilometers away from Butuan City, is rich in mineral ores and has become host to many small-scale operations that mine and process gold, some of them owned by politicians. Many of these mining operations are being criticized by environmentalists as ecologically destructive.—Ben Serrano/JV, GMANews.TV