Cagayan governor condemns NPA killing of Baggao councilor
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba condemned the killing of a municipal councilor by alleged members of the New People's Army (NPA).
In a statement on Saturday, December 2, Mamba described the death of Baggao Sangguniang Bayan member Angelo "Buridek" Luis as terrorism.
"This killing disguised as an act of patriotism pursuant to communist ideologies is nothing but plain and simple terrorism," the governor said.
According to police, around 20 men in camouflage attacked Luis' house in Barangay Awallan at 7:10 am on Saturday. He was declared dead on the spot.
Mamba asked authorities to conduct a "thorough and speedy" probe into the killing.
He also urged other government officials not to fear communist rebels and instead boost counter-insurgency efforts.
"Our leaders should not cower in fear or be coerced to submit to the whimsical and capricious demands of these insurgent groups," Mamba said.
"This is also an earnest call on the members of the Cagayano community to support the government's efforts to fight insurgency, especially in our province."
Meanwhile, Cagayan Police Director Senior Superintendent Warren Tolito rejected the claims of the NPA's Henry Abraham Command that Luis was "corrupt and [a] land-grabber."
The NPA, in a statement sent to local radio, had claimed that Luis was an undercover agent for the police and was involved in cases of land-grabbing and corruption.
But according to Tolito, Luis even lent land in Barangay Awallan to one of the members of Kagimungan, a peasant group.
"Ang masaklap lang, nuong kukunin na niya ang lupa at gusto niyang gawing palaisdaan, siya pa ang kinasuhan. Pero dahil sa katibayang pagbili at pagmamay-ari, siya rin ang kinasihan ng korte," Tolito said.
(What's worse, he was slapped with charges when he tried to get the land back so he could put up a fishpond. But because of evidence that he bought and owned the land, the court sided with him.)
Tolito added that Luis urged residents to rally behind the government's efforts to stop the alleged extortion committed by the NPA against local businessmen.
"This [was] the very advocacy SB Angelo 'Buridek' Luis [was] espousing – a clean and good government for the people – that cost [him] his life. Let us not waste it." – Rappler.com