Widow of village chief slain by suspected Reds cry for justice
TACLOBAN CITY—The widow of a village chief allegedly slain by communist rebels in Hilongos town, Leyte province last Friday (Aug. 16) appealed for justice for what she said was the brutality with which her husband was killes.
“I am appealing to our authorities to give us justice by arresting and filing a case against those who killed my husband,” said Juana Loquias, widow of Vergelio, village chief of San Antonio in Hilongos.
Vergelio, 43, was with his father-in-law and other companions to cook shrimp in the village when the attack happened.
The gunmen reportedly announced it was the New People’s Army (NPA) that killed Vergelio.
Maj. Jayson Balbarona, the town’s police chief, said police are set to file murder charges against the four suspects at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Hilongos.
“We have identified the suspects based on the accounts of the witnesses who identified them through a photo gallery shown to them by our counterparts,” Balbarona said.
The NPA reportedly ordered the killing of Vergelio to retaliate after the village chief informed the military of rebel presence.
Lt. Romeo Obaob, commanding officer of the 78th Infantry Battalion, said soldiers are now after the gunmen.
He said he had recommended the posting of soldiers in the village through a military detachment.
“This request of ours is still being processed by our higher ups,” Obaob said.
Jose Villaflores, the town’s municipal officer, advised residents to remain calm.
“This is just an isolated case,” he said. /TSB
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