ZAMBOANGA CITY: Police on Thursday said suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels executed three men whom they accused of murdering four people in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.
Police said the victims – Alipio Andus, 39; Ariston Paroc, 46; and Julieto Candao, 28 – were killed in the village of Dampalan.
Paroc’s wife – Merlin – who was with the group, was spared by the attackers.
“Police investigators recovered forty 40 empty shells of caliber 5.56 mm [M16 automatic rifles] and a piece of yellow paper with a handwritten message accusing the victims of killing six people,” Senior Supt. Rogelio Alabata, a regional police spokesman, said.
The accusations cannot be independently confirmed but the note said the trio was meted death penalty after a kangaroo court found them guilty of allegedly murdering four people and landgrabbing.
Last Wednesday, communist rebels also killed four members of Scene of the Crime Operations (SOCO) and wounded one in an ambush in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.
The SOCO team was onboard a police vehicle and on its way to investigate a reported killing in the village of Sibayan when they were attacked at about 7:30 a.m.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday went to the wake of the policemen in Davao del Sur.
Meanwhile, as of this writing, the President or any member of the government panel that was holding backchannel talks with the communist rebels for resumption of peace negotiations had not issued any statement on the latest NPA attack.
Duterte suspended the peace talks last month after the rebels launched a series of deadly attacks in the restive region over the government’s failure to release some 400 political detainees – mostly NPA leaders and members arrested and captured in the past by authorities – a promise made by the President during the election campaign last year.