Councilor Merlin “Tiger” Mañalac of Malabon City (Metro Manila) was “really killed” by an armed group of the Marxist-Leninist Party of the Philippines (MLPP), according to a source of The Manila Times.
The source on Monday said leaflets left by the Partisano at the place where Mañalac was shot on Saturday afternoon were “enough” basis that the group killed the city councilor.
Partisano is supposedly the armed wing of the MLPP.
It was said to have been established in 2004 to carry out urban guerrilla warfare similar to that undertaken by the Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) under the New People’s Army (NPA) that was active until the 1990s, not 1980s as this paper previously reported.
The ABB was under the command and control of the Communist Party of the Philippines Manila-Rizal (CPP-MR), whose known leader was the late Filemon “Popoy” Lagman.
The CPP-MR, together with the ABB, separated from the CPP in 1993 over policy differences, mainly with party founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, who has been based in The Netherlands.
“Kadalasan leaflets lang. Alam ng pulisya ang pattern. Sila ang makapagsasabi [Most of the time, it’s only leaflets that are left at the scene by Partisano. The police know the pattern. They could tell],” the source said when The Manila Times insisted on an interview with the group’s leader or even the group’s spokesman.
Mañalac was shot several times reportedly by two motorcycle-riding men near his house on Perlas Street in Barangay Tenejeros.
He was brought to the Manila Central University Hospital in Caloocan City (Metro Manila) where he died around 4 p.m.
In an interview, Senior Supt. Severino Abad Jr., chief of Malabon police and deputy chief of the Special Investigation Task Group Merlin (SITG-Merlin, told The Manila Times that there was “indeed a pattern” in the killing operations of the Partisano.
SITG-Merlin was put up upon orders of Director Eric Reyes, chief of the Northern Police District (NPD).
It is headed by Senior Supt. Rolando Anduyan.
Abad said leaving leaflets at the crime scene is just one of the Partisano’s patterns.
He disclosed that Mañalac was actually the fifth victim of the armed group in Malabon City alone.
Abad, however, said leaflets were left by the Partisano in only three of the five cases to confirm that they indeed carried out the attacks.
The armed group said Mañalac was involved in the killing of Peter Villasenor in 2010 and in illegal activities, including drug trafficking and prostitution.
Police records showed that Villasenor was murdered on February 7, 2010 in Barangay Tenejeros.
He was reportedly a former member of the NPA, the armed wing of the CPP, who later joined the Partisano.
Abad said they are not ruling out other angles like the role of politicians in the killing since Mañalac was a politician.
Mañalac was reportedly seeking reelection under the party of Mayor Antolin Oreta 3rd.
Identities of the suspects could be known within two days as a CCTV footage on them has been submitted to experts for review.