‘Stray’ NPA bullet kills student in Masbate

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A BULLET reportedly fired by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) killed a 15-year-old student in Barangay Libertad, Cawayan town in Masbate on Saturday.

The Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Battalion identified the victim as Vincent Pekiro, a resident of the village.

No further details were mentioned in the report.

Earlier reports showed that the NPA rebels were positioned about 200 meters away from a daycare center in Barangay Libertad where troops from the 1st Platoon, Alpha Company of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, were conducting a clean-up drive.

It said a gunshot was heard, directed to the location of the Army troops at the daycare center.

Authorities are conducting an investigation and pursuing the group of communist rebels to hold them accountable for the crime.

The Army’s 9th Infantry Division said the recent acts of the NPA only showed that the rebels “do not give importance to the lives” of civilians.

Meanwhile, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said the military has yet to receive the final advice and order on the re-arrest of National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants, who were released to participate in the peace talks.

Since the peace panel was dissolved following the attacks against state forces in the countryside, Año said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) awaits formal notification of the official cancellation of the peace talks from the proper office.

Año explained that it would take about a month before NDF consultants can be re-arrested except for those who posted bail, such as Benito and Wilma Tiamzon.

The Tiamzon couple was arrested in Carcar City, Cebu in 2014 during Año’s stint as chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The AFP chief said the case of the Tiamzons is different from that of the other political prisoners released since the couple was freed on bail for their participation in the peace talks.

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