Farmer accused of being a military informant shot dead in Sorsogon
NAGA CITY, Philippines–A farmer whom communist rebels allegedly blamed for the death of eight of their leaders and comrades in 2013, including National Democratic Front-Bicol spokesman Greg Bañares, was shot dead in Sorsogon Tuesday, the military said on Wednesday.
Emilio Oplida, 41, was killed by three suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) near his residence in Barangay (village) Calmayon, Juban, Sorsogon, around 9 a.m. Tuesday, said Major Angelo Guzman, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command (AFP-Solcom) based in Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City, quoting police records.
He said the initial investigation conducted by the Juban Municipal Police revealed that Oplida was on his way to the house of his neighbor Aldrin Desabalya when he was waylaid by three armed men who shot him three times in different parts of his body.
The brother of the victim, whom Guzman did not name, told police that sometime in July, Oplida was approached by a certain Ka Jack, believed to be an NPA member. Ka Jack allegedly threatened Oplida because of his supposed participation in the death of eight high-ranking NPAs in an encounter with Army soldiers under the 9th Infantry Division on July 4, 2013, he said.
Among those who were killed in the encounter was Bañares, whose real name was Frankie Joe Soriano, the spokesman of the NDF in Bicol.
Guzman said Oplida was accused by the NPA of being a military informer because the encounter happened in his hut where Bañares and his companions had taken shelter at the time.
The Juban police have taken custody of Oplida’s body for an investigation into his killing, Guzman said.
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