NPA rebels kill retired cop in Sorsogon

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LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—A police crack team has been formed to hunt down members of the New People’s Army responsible for the killing on Wednesday of a retired policeman at his residence in Our Ladies Village in Barangay Pangpang, Sorsogon City, a report reaching the Philippine National Police on Thursday said.

The NPA’s Celso Minguez Command, in a press statement on Thursday, claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of retired policeman Jungil Dichoso Escalante, 45.

Escalante was at his residence at around 9:30 a.m. when three armed men barged in and shot him at close range, killing him instantly, said Inspector Malu Calubaquid, PNP-Bicol spokesperson.

Investigators recovered from the crime scene four empty shells and two slugs  from a .45-caliber pistol.

Calubaquid, quoting Carla Lascano, a witness and a neighbor of the victim, told police investigators that Escalante was having a conversion on his cell phone when fired at by the suspects.

The witness  said that after the shooting, the suspects, who were all about 25 years old, of small build, between 5’ 4″ and 5’ 5″  in height, took Escalante’s .45-caliber pistol before they fled on the retired policeman’s motorcycle.

It was not clear why Escalante had his firearm at hand at that time.

Samuel Toledo, spokesperson of the Celso Minguez command, claimed in the press statement that Escalante was killed for his “crimes against the people,” specifically for the alleged killing of people tagged as supporters of the communist movement.

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