PNP identifies 11 suspects in murder of 4 Negros Oriental cops
MANILA, Philippines — Police have identified 11 suspected members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) who are believed to be behind the killing of four police intelligence officers in Negros Oriental.
“We have identified sa report ni RD (regional director) doon at least 11 of them and some are John Does, and cases will be filed against these people,” PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said in a press briefing at Camp Crame on Tuesday.
Police however have yet to release the names of the suspects.
Albayalde said investigators have found that the NPA fighters first assembled residents of the village of Manato in Ayungan town before killing the police officers in front of them on the afternoon of July 18.
“Doon sa harap nila (residents) inexecute yung apat na pulis,” he said.
Previous police reports identified the four slain officers as Cpl. Relebert Beronio, Pat. Raffy Callao, Pat. Roel Cabellon, and Pat. Marquino de Leon, all personnel of the 704th Provincial Mobile Force Company of the Regional Public Safety Battalion 7 assigned in Negros Oriental. The officers were on their way to the house of their supposed contact to verify reports that members of the NPA are present in the area when they were attacked by gunfire.
But in a press conference on Friday, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office-7 (Central Visayas), said he does not believe the incident was an ordinary ambush. He said the officers were dragged, hogtied, mauled and even buttstroked by the NPA rebels.
He added the victims were “brutally murdered” without the opportunity to defend themselves.
“Surely we will be filing cases of murder,” Albayalde said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has offered a P1-million reward for the arrest of the suspects in the ambush. He said he would add another P300,000 if the head of the “idiot leader” of the group will be brought to him. /muf
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