Village councilman shot dead by suspected rebels

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A village councilman who was allegedly mistaken as a “military asset” was shot to death by four suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Tamwag, Barangay Mabunga, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental Wednesday night.

The death of Barangay Kagawad Ramonito Handumon came a month after the series of killings in the province last month, leaving 20 people dead.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Bonifacio Tecson, city police chief, said Handumon was watching a game at the said sitio, which was to celebrate its fiesta the following day, when the assailants arrived and shot him at close range.

Handumon succumbed to gunshot wounds in the head and body. The gunmen then fled towards the mountainous area of the village.

Police recovered from the scene .9mm and .45 caliber ammunition shells.

Tecson said the victim has not received any threats prior to the incident.

Tecson said one of the four gunmen was confirmed to be a member of the NPA after he was previously jailed for a criminal offense but the case was dismissed by the court. His three other companions were probably the new recruits of the rebel group, he added.

He said many witnesses were able to identify the gunmen but they were afraid.

The city police chief said they already have persons of interest and pursuit operation is ongoing for their apprehension.