TUGUEGARAO CITY: It seems that the New People’s Army (NPA) was involved after all in the brutal murder of Gonzaga town Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr. on Monday after the killer was caught on a CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera in the town hall.
Contrary to what the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said, Chief Supt. Miguel Laurel, Cagayan Valley region police director, identified the suspect as David Soriano alias “Ka Colly,” the second in command of the NPA Northern Front committee.
Police said Soriano was the one who shot Pentecostes in front of terrified officials and employees during the flag ceremony at 8 a.m. on Monday that was disturbed with the arrival of 30-armed men.
Intelligence reports revealed that Soriano operates in the towns of Baggao, Gattaran, Amulung, Alcala, Santo Niño, Rizal, Lasam, Allacapan, Gonzaga, Santa Terisita, Aparri, Claveria, Ballesteros, Abulug, Pamplona and Sanchez Mira.
In Apayao province, the rebel commander’s reach also includes the towns of Calanasan Flora, Pudtol, and Santa Marcela, according to police.
Combined troops of the AFP and the Police Public Safety Battalion are scouring the Sierra Madre mountain range in search of the mayor’s killer.
Earlier, the AFP expressed doubts that the NPA was involved in the killing since the manner in which it was carried out was “not the usual style of the rebels.”
A note written in the local dialect said Pentecostes was killed for allowing black sand mining in the area.