A U.S. national living in the city of Makati, a part of Metro Manila, was stabbed to death by four men just outside of the gate to his residential community yesterday. The victim, George Anikow, was initially identified as a diplomat himself, with police chief Manual Lucban confirming he'd received a call from the US Embassy after the murder; other sources identify Anikow as "a dependent of one of the officers of the US Embassy" awaiting a return to active duty as a U.S. Marine.

According to ABS-CBN News, the four men were riding in a silver Volvo that was stopped at the security gate of the Bel-Air subdivision for an identity check around 4:20 a.m. when Anikow walked up. Reports of the nature of the argument vary, although the police report that at some point Anikow "tapped" the men's car, at which point all four passengers came out and confronted him. Anikow was stabbed repeatedly and died a few hours later in a local hospital.

Friends of Anikow have already begun posting messages of condolence on the Facebook page for the 4th Civil Affairs Group. As part of this group, Anikow was trained in "Tactical Conflict Assessment Planning and Framework," a technique that was designed to assist Marines foster relationships with local populations.

But it doesn't take a CAG Marine to get the information. The method is designed to be uncomplicated so that any Marine of any rank can gather public concerns.

"You have to have people skills," said Lance Cpl. Jasmin A. Gagnon, 23, civil affairs specialist. The Falls Church, Va., native added, "It would just be awkward to walk up and ask questions without establishing a rapport."

The four men, who were caught by police after a short motorcycle chase, were identified as Crispec dela Paz, Galicano Datu III, Ospic Caburay, and Juan Abastillas. Two of them are currently students at De La Salle University. A tactical knife has already been recovered from the vehicle and the police are prepared to file charges.

[Image of George Anikow via MarineCorpsTimes]