BUTUAN CITY – Suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels gunned down a barangay tanod (village watchman) in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on Thursday afternoon.
The victim, identified as Fortunato Jacinto, alias Fortun, 59, was a resident of Purok Pulotan, Barangay Awasian, Tandag City.
In a statement on Saturday, Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 (Caraga) Director Brig. Gen. Pablo Labra II said Jacinto was actively supporting the government’s call to the remaining NPA rebels in the area to surrender and return to the fold of the law.
Labra also ordered the Tandag City Police Station to conduct a speedy investigation to determine the identities of the perpetrators for their immediate arrest.
Based on the disclosure of the victim’s live-in partner, seven armed NPA rebels suddenly arrived at their residence on Thursday afternoon and immediately hogtied the victim before shooting him to death using high-powered firearms.
“We condemn this brutal killing perpetrated by the Communist Terrorist Group who are now desperate as the calls for the surrender of their members are already gaining ground proven by the recent number of surrenders not only in Surigao del Sur but also in other areas in the Caraga Region,” Labra said.
He added that based on the initial investigation, those responsible for the killing of Jacinto were from the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 30, North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee.
Authorities also recovered from the crime scene three 5.56 mm. fired cartridges and one fired cartridge from a .45 caliber pistol.
“We are also calling the concerned residents in the area to help the police in the continuing investigation of this incident and the filing of appropriate charges in court,” Labra said.
He added that the PRO-13, with the support of various stakeholders, remains aggressive and determined to end the local communist armed conflict. (PNA)