5 ‘government informants’ killed in Guihulngan City
CEBU CITY, Philippines –Law enforcers are looking at the possibility of revenge by the New People’s Army (NPA) as motive behind the recent killing of five individuals tagged as “government informants” in Negros Oriental.
Police Brigadier General Ronnie Montejo, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said that the victims, whom he identified as former members of the Communist Terrorist Groups (CTGs) and New People’s Army’s Special partisan Unit (NPA-SPARU), were said to be helping government troops by providing vital information on NPA operations.
Three of the five victims were farmers while the two others were mothers. They were killed in separate shooting incidents that happened in a span of four hours on Friday, May 14.
Montejo said he already directed the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) to probe the deaths and identify the their killers.
“Akong gitahasan ang Provincial Director sa NOPPO nga imbestigahan og hatagan og hustisya ang ilang kamatayon. Kini usab nga mga panghitabo, unta panghinuktukan sa mga gustong motapon sa walhong grupo nga way maayong padulngan ang inyong pag apil sa maong grupo. Balik namo sa sabakan sa gobyerno aron mamuhi tang dunay kahapsay ug kalinaw nga way kahadlok ug kabalaka,” the PRO-7 director said.
(I gave instructions for the Provincial Director of NOPPO to investigate and give justice to the victims of the killings. I hope that this incident will also serve as a lesson for individuals who are planning to join leftist groups. Cooperate with the government and live a safe and peaceful life without having to fear for your security.)
Based on the outcome of their investigation, NOPPO said that the recent killings in Guihulngan City involved former rebel members, who were allegedly “summarily executed” by NPA members.
The first to be killed at around 5 a.m. on Friday was farmer Rogelio Fat, a 45-year-old resident of Sitio Panagtugas, Barangay Trinidad.
Fat was shot dead while he was preparing to pasture his livestock.
According to witnesses, four still unidentified members of the CPP/NPA’s Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) visited Fat’s home to kill him.
At 5:30 a.m., a couple identified as Rodrigo Pasinabo Lubay, 48, and Cerelina Montecino Lubay, 44, were also shot dead in Sitio Lower Budlasan, Barangay Trinidad.
Their son told the police that Rodrigo was taking an early morning dip in a river located 50 meters away from their house when he was shot. Cerelina who went to out of their house to verify the source of the gun burst also ended up dead.
At about 6 a.m., Ronelo Lara Quirante Sr., 56, was killed while pasturing his cow about 100 meters away from his home in Sitio Agit also in Barangay Trinidad.
Less than two hours later, or at about 8:30 a.m., a certain Gretchel Ledesma was also shot on the right eye in Sitio Taklongan in Barangay Linatuyan.
Ledesma was her son and neighbor, Mary Jane Paborada, when they were waylaid by the armed men. The group was on their way to the barangay proper to submit modules.
Witnesses heard the gunman say, “NPA ko! Tug-an mos mga police kay gubat jud ni ron (I am a NPA member. Provide information to the police and we will wage war against you).”
As of this writing, police in Negros Oriental continue to gather information on the suspects and their possible connections with their victims.
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