By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least three people were killed, while two others were wounded, after suspected members of the New People’s Army-Special Partisan Unit (NPA-SPARU) opened fire during a wake at Crossing Magallon in Barangay Bulad, Isabela, Negros Occidental, Monday evening.
Police identified the fatalities as retired Staff Sergeant Jose Joerito Amable, head of the Civil Security Group for Moises Padilla Mayor Magdaleno Peña; retired police Alejandro Borres; and a civilian identified as Pedirico Bitgue.
Wounded in the attack were 10-year-old Timothy Aaron Achivar and Alquin Geneterula, Jr., a teacher.
Based on witness testimony, while attending the wake for Dennis Banares, a motorcycle passed by and its occupants opened fire.
Bitgue tried to escape but was chased down and shot repeatedly, killing him on the spot.
The wounded were immediately rushed to a hospital in Bacolod City following the incident.
Amable’s wife, Marilyn, meanwhile, said she has no idea why her husband was killed as she was not aware of him having enemies.
However, she suspects her husband was on the NPA’s hitlist, as she heard from him, prior to his death, mention being targeted by rebels due to his connection with the Moises Padilla mayor.
Isabela municipal police, meanwhile, presented several photos of the suspects after they were positively identified by witnesses.
Police recovered 28 empty .45 caliber and 9mm shells from the crime scene.
Isabela police have not named the suspects, however, a follow-up operation is currently underway./DGB, WDJ