2 soldiers slain in Albay; cops suspect NPA hit squadBy Frances Mangosing, Rey M. Nasol
Inquirer Southern Luzon, INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines – Two soldiers were killed in an encounter with communist rebels in Albay early Wednesday, a military spokesman said.
Citing reports from Lieutenant Colonel Audrey Pacia of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, Major Harold Cabunoc said the two were killed by suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA)while doing security operations in Sinungtan village in Guinobatan town at 12:50 a.m.
The soldiers were identified as Privates First Class Jayvi Villagomez and Alfredo Leonillo Jr. They sustained fatal gunshots.
It was believed that the attack was in retaliation of the arrest of Carlito Rebamba known as Ka Renan of the NPA in Tastas village, Ligao City last June 9.
Renan has a warrant of arrest for a series of murders and burning a police station in Pio Duran.
But Chief Inspector Pico B. Valencia Jr., Guinobatan police chief, had different version of the story when interviewed by the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
“We received the report and we immediately proceeded to the site and recovered the cadavers. Further investigations are being undertaken to identify the suspect who had fled right after the killing,” Valencia said.
He said Leonilo and Villagomez were buying cigarettes at a nearby store during a pre-fiesta dance festival in the village when the gunman approached both soldiers and shot them in the head.
The soldiers reportedly tried to go for their guns but the gunman beat them to the draw.
Four slugs and seven empty shells, apparently from a .45 cal. pistol, were recovered at the scene.
Valencia said the incident apparently went unnoticed by revelers because the blaring music at a dance hall some 20 meters from the crime scene muffled the gunshots.
The bodies of the victims were brought to a funeral parlor in downtown Guinobatan.
Originally posted at 11:18 am|Wednesday, June 13, 2012