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BACOLOD CITY, Philippines - The 9 people slain in an ambush in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, were all shot in the head, police said Monday, January 28.
This was disclosed by Senior Supt Celestino Guara, caretaker of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, who also said they're looking into the possibility that New People's Army (NPA) rebels from other provinces may have been behind the ambush on Sunday morning, January 27, that also wounded 12 others -- two cops and 10 civilians.
A resident of Brgy. Puso, La Castellana, in an interview with MBC Aksyon Radyo here, claimed the gunmen reportedly came from Bohol and Samar, with a guide from the local NPA command.
They were reportedly looking for rebel returnees.
Edwin Sevilla, a member of Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team stationed at a police outpost in Brgy. Cabacungan, La Castellana, who survived the ambush, said the suspects positioned themselves on the left side of the road and shouted “Mabuhay ang NPA!” after the ambush.
The suspected guerrillas opened fire at a truck carrying the victims and other civilians, including children. The rebels reportedly asked the children to leave the truck before they started killing the victims.
The policemen, along with members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), were in the area to secure the barangay since it was celebrating its fiesta. They were ambushed when they were on their way home from the fiesta Sunday morning.
Senior Inspector Gary Alan Resuma, La Castellana police chief, said there were 21 passengers in the truck, aside from the 8 children.
Local government officials, as well as the police and the military Negros condemned the ambush.
Killed were PO1 Richard Canja, civilians Virginia Ordonez, Ricky Dingcong and Lito Lucban, barangay tanod members Mario Ricablanca and Teotimo Esplegera of Brgy. Puso, and BPAT members Ulysses Tamayor, Jonathan Mateo and Ramir Complesa.
Two policemen, Police Officer 3 Constantino Villegas and PO2 Jeffrey Alvarez, and 10 civilians were also injured in the ambush, police records show.
The gunmen also took away with them the two assault rifles of the slain and injured policemen. - Rappler.com