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DUMAGUETE, Philippines – The suspect slain during pursuit operations in the aftermath of the March 4 Pamplona town attack that killed Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and eight others was a former member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), the Joint Task Force Negros announced on Wednesday, March 15.
The Philippine News Agency, quoting task force spokesperson Maj. Cenon Pancito III, identified the slain suspect as Arnil Labradilla of Sitio Awang, Barangay Atotes in Bindoy town, Negros Oriental.
Pancito said Labradilla’s parents had already claimed his body and brought him home.
The joint task force spokesperson said Labradilla was identified through the statements of four arrested suspects, including three former soldiers – Joric Labrador, Joven Javie, and Benjie Rodriguez,- and taxi driver Osmundo Rojas Rivero.
One of them, Javier, a resident of La Castellana, Negros Occidental, had served with the Light Reaction Battalion, the Army’s top counterterrorist unit.
Rodriguez, 45, was part of the 35th Infantry Battalion of the 11th Infantry Division (11ID).
The 50-year-old Labrador, a security escort of Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez until his dismissal in 2014 on drug charges, had served in the military intelligence unit and the Mechanized Infantry Battalion of 4ID.
Pancito said a fifth suspect has also surrendered but did not elaborate.
There were no other details about Labradilla’s background or how he fell in with ex-soldiers.
The brazen daylight attack, on a day Degamo was meeting constituents, stunned Negros Oriental residents and politicians. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has vowed to bring the killers to justice. – Rappler.com