Tandag City (Google map)


BUTUAN CITY – A farmer who abandoned the New People’s Army (NPA) 10 years ago was gunned down by his suspected former comrades in a remote area in Tandag City on Saturday.

The Surigao del Sur Police Provincial Office (SDSPPO) identified the victim as Belmer Sikoti Andaya, alias Oloy, 34, a resident of Purok Upper in Barangay Maitom.

“The Tandag City Police Station received a phone call on Saturday at around 11:15 a.m. on a shooting incident in Purok Upper,” the SDSPPO said in its report on Sunday.

According to the initial investigation, the victim’s wife, Jovelyn Ojao Andaya, told investigators that Andaya left their house past 6 a.m. on Saturday to check their abaca farm situated in the vicinity of Purok Upper.

At around 8 a.m., Jovelyn said her husband’s father, Besmar, received information from a concerned neighbor on the shooting.

“The father went immediately to his son’s abaca farm and found the body covered with banana leaves,” the SDSPPO report said.

Police said the victim's wife suspects NPA rebels belonging to Guerrilla Front 30, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee as responsible for the killing of her husband.

The couple left the communist movement in 2011.

Responding police recovered three fired 5.56 mm cartridges and one live 5.56mm ammunition.

Investigators are still determining the firearm used in the killing of the victim, the report added.

“Police personnel from Tandag City are still conducting an in-depth investigation to determine the motive of the killing and the identification of the suspect,” the SDSPPO said.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)