CATARMAN, Northern Samar – Still unidentified suspects killed two barangay leaders in areas where members of the government troops and the rebel group, New People’s Army (NPA), earlier engaged in a firefight.
In Barangay San Miguel, Las Navas, this province, its village chairman, Apolinario Lebico, 63, was shot to death by an alleged riding-in-tandem on Thursday (April 25) afternoon.
In Calbiga, Samar, the village chairman of Beri, Wilmar Calutan,40, was also shot to death, also on Thursday, at around 9 pm.
The shooting on Lebico happened at around 4:20 pm along the boundaries of Barangays Quirino and San Jorge, Police Lt. Col. Rafael Tayaban, police community relations officer of the provincial office of the Philippine National Police (PNP), based here.
Tayaban said that the victim was riding a motorcycle driven by his son-in-law Jeremy Capoquian as they were on their way home when two unidentified gunmen, who were also aboard a motorcycle, emerged from behind and shot Lebico several times with the use of a Cal.9mm firearm.
Lebico died on the spot from a gunshot wound on his head while his son-in-law bore a slight wound on his right hand.
The suspects reportedly fled towards the direction of barangay Quezon, the police said.
Elements of the Philippine Army’s 20th Battalion responded to the incident and brought the victims to the Catubig District Hospital where doctors conducted post mortem examination on Lebico.
To recall, soldiers who were in Brgy. San Miguel engaged in a fire fight with alleged rebels which resulted to the death of a nine-year old boy after the rebels lobbed improvised explosive device on April 17.
Meantime, village chairman Calutan was shot to death by still unidentified armed men, reports reaching the regional PNP headquarters.
On Tuesday (April 23), members of the 46th Infantry Battalion engaged in a firefight with about 20 NPA rebels that resulted to the death of six soldiers and the wounding of six others.