Councilor killed by teenage rebels in Eastern Samar

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TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—A municipal councilor was gunned down Friday morning by two teenagers believed to be communist rebels outside a convenience store in Dolores, Eastern Samar, police said.

Councilor Bonifacio Tan Jr. of Dolores came from his brother’s house in Barangay 3 and had dropped by a store to buy something about 7:30 a.m. when the assailants approached him from behind and opened fire, hitting him twice in the head and other parts of the body, said Insp. Jerome Camacho, Dolores police chief.

After shooting the victim, the gunmen casually hailed a passing motorcycle, boarded the vehicle and escaped, Camacho added in a telephone interview.

Tan was taken to the Domingo Casano Private Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

Camacho said the gunmen were described to be between 16 and 18 years old. He said the assailants were suspected to be members of the New People’s Army because when the police pursued them up to Sitio Binog, Barangay 14, they were met by a group of armed men who engaged the policemen in a gunbattle.

“They engaged us in a fire fight. One of the men…  even lobbed a grenade towards our direction but none of my men was hit or hurt,” he added.

After five minutes, the rebels in different directions, said Camacho.

The town of Dolores, which is composed of 46 barangays with a population of more than 40,000, has long been identified by the military as a  hot-bed of insurgency in Eastern Samar.

Camacho said they could not yet establish the motive of the rebels in killing the councilor, whose family owns several business establishments in Dolores, about 170  km northeast of Tacloban.

Tan was a first-term councilor. His wife, Leny, is the chairperson of Barangay 13 where the Tans and their four children live.

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  • PHtaxpayer

    This is irresponsible journalism if not propaganda.  There is no evidence to back up the allegations and should be reported as such.  But if provincial reporters report the truth, they are often rubbed out.

    Funny the police have suspects but no motive.  They should investigate first, find the motive then they can narrow down the suspects list.  If you don’t have motive, these killers could be anyone from a rival politician to a robbery gang.It’s so hard to know the truth nowadays in media.  People should be aware they are being manipulated and there is a lot of propaganda out there.   It is not just one story or one newspaper…it is a whole series, like a tv or movie series that tries to keep your attention and brainwash you to its message.  The best propaganda is one that is subtle and smooth, you do not know you are being manipulated until you are already a believer in it.

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