NPA owns Negros slays, says cops harassed farmers

Philippine Daily Inquirer July 24,2019 - 02:18 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte has offered an additional P300,000 on top of the P1-million reward if the mastermind behind the murder of four policemen in Ayungon town, Negros Oriental province, on July 18 is killed.

The President raised the reward money as he condemned the slaying.

He said the four policemen — Cpl. Relebert Beronio and Patrolmen Raffy Callo, Roel Cabellon and Marquino de Leon — suffered “traumatic blows” before they were killed.

“For all of the years, I said, I’ve been mayor in Davao. And for the many times that I went to the mountains to retrieve captured soldiers and policemen, I did not see not one sign of trauma,” he told reporters after he delivered his State of the Nation Address on Monday.

“Here, they killed them, beat them up,” the President said.

Rebel statement

He added: “I would prefer them to be dead. If they’re presented to me dead, I would add another P300,000. Just bring me the head of that idiot leader there. P1 million, no questions asked.”

The four lawmen were verifying the reported presence of New People’s Army (NPA) rebels in Ayungon when they were ambushed.

In Bacolod City, communist rebels have claimed responsibility for killing the four policemen, who they accused of harassing farmers in the area.

In a statement, Dionesio Magbuelas, spokesperson for the NPA Mt. Cansermon Command, said the policemen had engaged in intelligence gathering in connection with the implementation of the synchronized enhanced managing police operation (Sempo) that “claimed the lives of many civilians in Negros Oriental.”

Sempo is a recalibrated “one time, big time” operation, the anticrime thrust implemented when Sen. Ronald dela Rosa headed the Philippine National Police.

Charges filed

Col. Raul Tacaca, Negros Oriental police director, said they filed multiple murder and theft charges against Victoriano Anadon and five NPA rebels in the provincial prosecutor’s office for killing the four policemen.

The four lawmen were allegedly taken to the house of Anadon where they were hog-tied before they were killed, police said.

Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Central Visayas police director, said the four policemen were summarily executed. Each was shot in the head while one’s throat had been slashed, Sinas said. Their service handguns were also taken by the fleeing rebels.

He said about 20 to 30 rebels planned and participated in the operation to kill the four policemen.

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