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Negros Oriental cops probing reason for village chair to drink pesticide

BACOLOD CITY – Police are trying to determine what prompted the chairman of Barangay Mabato, who was being investigated in connection with the brutal killing of four policemen, to kill himself.

Barangay chairman Sunny Caldera died after he reportedly drank pesticide in Barangay Awa-an, Ayungon town, Negros Oriental on Tuesday.

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Col. Raul Tacaca, provincial police director, said Caldera was a person of interest in the summary execution of four policemen last July 18.

But Caldera was not included in the multiple charges filed against Victoriano Anadon and five other suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members, for lack of evidence.

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Caldera, 51, was found vomiting on Monday.

He was then brought to the Silliman Medical Center in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental’s capital where he died.

Capt. Romel Luga, chief of the Ayungon Police Station, said they recovered a container of Karate Pesticide from where Caldera was staying.

“There were witnesses who saw him buying a bottle of pesticide,” he said in an interview.

Luga said the police believed Caldera was threatened by the other suspects, prompting him to end his life.

“There are no indications of a foul play. What we are looking into now is who threatened him,” he said.

The New People’s Army’s Mt. Cansermon Command has claimed responsibility for killing the four police intelligence operatives.

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In a statement, Dionesio Magbuelas, spokesman of the NPA Mt. Cansermon Command, said they killed the four police operatives for engaging in intelligence gathering in connection with the implementation of the Synchronized Enhanced Managing Police Operations that claimed the lives of many civilians in Negros Oriental.

Magbuelas said the four policemen—Police Corporal Relebert Beronio, Patrolmen Raffy Callo, Roel Cabellon, and Marquino de Leon—allegedly harassed farmers in the area.

President Duterte has offered a P1-million reward for the capture of those behind the brutal killing of the four policemen. /lzb

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TAGS: barangay chairman, Barangay Mabato, Local news, Negros Oriental, Policemen
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