NPA rebels execute former Army sergeant
KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato—Gunmen identifying themselves as members of the New People’s Army executed a former Army sergeant working as the security chief of an oil palm plantation in North Cotabato in full view of villagers summoned to witness the execution.
Alejandro Cañete, head of the village of Gambudes in the municipality of Arakan where the incident took place, said the rebels swooped down on the oil palm plantation owned by an official of the Matalam at noon Monday, confiscated at least 10 firearms from its guards, and forcibly took former Army Sgt. Glenn Arreola to the village center, where they summoned local residents.
Cañete said that as the residents gathered, the rebels recited the alleged “crimes against the people” that Arreola had committed, before shooting him dead.
The NPA’s Front Committee 53, which operates in North Cotabato, has not issued any statement on the raid or the public execution of the former soldier. But the military said it was the second NPA attack carried out in the province on Monday.
A few hours earlier, NPA rebels killed five soldiers and three government-backed militiamen by detonating a land mine between the villages of Caridad and Bituan in Tulunan, said Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier Cruz III, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City.
Cruz said the soldiers were to deliver the salaries of militiamen in Tulunan when their vehicle was blown off by the land mine. The military has mounted an operation against the rebels, he added.