PNP nabs a suspect in murder of Negros Oriental cops
MANILA, Philippines — Police have arrested a suspect behind the July 18 murder of four intelligence officers in Ayungon town, Negros Oriental.
Col. Raul Tacaca, director of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office, identified the arrested suspect as Victoriano Bangala.
Maj. Romel Luga, chief of the Ayungon Municipal Police Station, said the suspect was arrested in Barangay Mabato on Friday after witnesses positively identified him as one of those involved in the killings.
Five other suspects have been identified but remain at large as of posting time — Jonathan Baldivino, Rengie Anadon Baluhabo, Gelie Anadon Ebedo, Joseph Torres Ogates, and Jelly Anadon Ebedo.
The suspects were believed to be members of the communist New People’s Army (NPA). According to some reports, at least 30 assailants were involved.
Tacaca told INQUIRER.net that four counts of murder have been filed against the suspects and several John and Jane Does on Friday.
In a separate interview, Luga said police have filed a case of robbery against the suspects, but the Negros Provincial Prosecutor’s Office lowered the case to theft since the victims had already died when the suspects took their service firearms and other belongings.
The officers were believed to have been ambushed then dragged, beaten up, hogtied, and buttstroked by several armed men while they were approaching the house of a supposed contact to confirm reports of the alleged presence of NPA fighters in the area.
Investigators said the rebels assembled villagers to witness the shooting of the victims. /jpv /atm
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