NPA rebels kill N. Cotabato village exec
COTABATO CITY – Suspected New People’s Army rebels on Tuesday killed a village official who actively supported the military’s peace and development program in North Cotabato, the military said.
Capt. Silver Belvis, speaking for the 39th Infantry Battalion, said Valeriano Birondo, councilman of Barangay Mahongkog in Magpet town, was on a motorcycle on his way home when the rebels blocked his path and took him to a secluded place where he was hacked to death.
Belvis, quoting statements from residents, said they overheard the armed men as saying that Birondo was executed for his crimes against NPA’s Guerilla Front 72.
Meanwhile, a certain Ka Chui of Guerilla Front 72, in a statement, said the alleged NPA sub-leader who yielded with his rifle to the 39th Infantry Battalion over the weekend was no longer part of the movement since 2015.
Antonio Gawelan, alias Commander Banate, turned himself to 39th IB with the help of Indigenous Peoples tribal leader and handed over his M16 rifle, the military earlier reported.
Gawelan claimed unfulfilled promises of the NPA leaders led him to surrender to the government. He lamented that injured red fighters were abandoned after clashes with government forces.
But Ka Chui said Gawelan was injured in an encounter with government forces in Magpet, North Cotabato early this year. He was advised to rest to his home in Kitao-tao, Bukidnon and was dropped from the roster.
Belvis said Gawelan was qualified to receive government livelihood assistance after his surrender.
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