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Rebel returnee’s killing affects local peace talks

THE Philippine Army in Negros Occidental declared that the killing by alleged members of the New People's Army (NPA) of a rebel returnee (RR) can affect the local peace initiatives between the government and the mainstream rebels.
Colonel Oscar Lactao, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade (IB), ordered close security to be given to the former members of the NPA who decided to go back to the folds of the government.
He also condemned such violent act committed by the rebels which he described as an extreme human rights violation against the rebel's former comrades who have returned to normal life.
Freddie Sanchez, a rebel returnee who was absorbed as a paramilitary trooper, was shot dead by suspected members of the NPA at about 7:30 Saturday night near his house at Sitio Pison, Minautok, Calatrava town.
Colonel Jose Ely Alberto, commanding officer of the 62nd IB, said the victim was among the group of rebel returnees who received livelihood assistance from Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon last August 2011.
Sanchez just got married in December 7, 2011, he added. The victim was the third rebel returnee who was killed by alleged NPA members since 2006.
The victim was having a drinking spree with two friends, Darwin Leyte and Artemio Canillo, when three unidentified persons entered the videoke bar and shouted, “Dapa ang dile apil. Si Regan lang kuhaon namu. (Those who have nothing to do with this, drop to the ground. It is only Regan whom we want.)”
Regan used to be the “alias” of the victim in the underground movement.
Two of the three suspects then fired about 15 shots using a .45 caliber pistol at the victim who died on the spot from the 11 gunshot wounds in his body and two gunshot wounds in his head.
Before leaving, the suspects reportedly uttered, “Mao na matabo sa mga traydor. Mga NPA kami. (That is what will happen to traitors. We are NPA rebels.)”
The suspects then fled towards Barangay Minautok proper, Alberto said.
He said the police recovered 16 empty shells of a 45. caliber pistol in the crime scene.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 10, 2012.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012


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